A Novel-In-Progress is like Theseus’ Paradox

For those of you not near google, if, bit by bit, you replace the old wood of a boat with new wood until the whole ship is new wood, and then build another ship with the wood from the original ship, which one is the real ship?

Not so subtle segue because I’m exhauated.

Do you notice how much your story changes? You take out characters, add characters, take out scenes, add scenes, take out plot points, add plot points.

I do this little by little. My brain thinks, “Wouldn’t it be cool if this was like this?”, and usually, on a whim, I change a little piece of the story. I keep on changing little by little til it resembles in the barest structure. Usually only keeping one or two characters or plot points I like.

Of course Theseus’s Paradox involves another boat, but the real question is whether the ship that had all the pieces replaced is still the original ship. Do you think a manuscript you’ve written is replaced by the edited version?

Food for thought. But now, sleep is pretty important, and thanks to Netflix, I don’t get enough of it…


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