This is how I tie myself up in knots.

When strange things start happening in a story, how do you have the characters react?

It seems melodramatic to constantly have the protagonist saying, "Oh, My God! How can this be happening!! Am I going crazy???"

There is a fine line between too little and too much and it's very hard to gauge. Of course it's probably better to avoid a plot where it happens at all. I know I've been annoyed at movies and books where the characters lingers too long on the disbelief reactions.

I cut three active scenes from the first 50 pages and kept one that I had a few doubts about. Sure enough, now I'm having doubts about the one I kept, and wondering if I shouldn't have kept the three I cut.

I'm tempted to cut the scene I kept (but it would be useful later) and put two of the scenes back (they are relatively short) and on the third scene--the original first chapter-- just keep it but cut it way down.

So I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a "Fateplay" version four; but I want to wait until I've gotten back all the feedback.

This is how I tie myself up in knots.

I know I must seem incredibly wishy-washy, but this is my process. I try this, I try that, I weigh it after it's done.

The thing is, it isn't until I actually commit to a change that I seem to be able to see it clearly. While it is still only possibility, I can't make a final determination for some reason.

It would be great to have readers who could read each version, but even I'm tired of it and getting people to read you even once can be difficult.

Anyway, now that I "committed" to the extend of actually sending it off, I'm clearly seeing things I'd like the change, and I'm clearly seeing how they would be improvements.


Generally what happens--despite some radical departures at first--is that I end up with some version that is close to the first version but with modifications. 

This both satisfies my own need to keep the story I told, and hopefully makes enough changes to make it easier on the reader.

And I'll never know for sure.