Monthly Archives: May 2010

>Oh my, I think I’ve got a novel…

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I’ve been hard at work trying to get Chapter One into a decent enough shape to be finally beta read.  I let the earlier incarnation out to a few folks and I admit, I cringe at the words on the paper.  The gist of the story was there, I suppose, but it was in a very rough shape.  The latest draft reads much better; not quite diamond, more like cubic zirconia.  It’s getting there.  I can say that now after a couple of frustrating days.

It’s been two weeks since I got down into no holds barred editing.  I’m somewhat surprised at how long one scene took me to get right but I suppose it’s because it was further than the others at getting my character’s point across.  I have to keep in mind, when I’m trying to rush through, that the process takes as long as it takes.  Good practice for when I’m looking at a nth revision I’ve been asked to do. 

What I’m loving is getting all the details in the right place, something I wasn’t so great at the first pass through.  I know it’s because I didn’t have all the details to begin with (you’d think these characters would clue me in or what not) but it’s still fun making things click – even for the author!

So, yeay, Chapter One is done and I’ll be foisting it on my unsuspecting victims betas soon.  Unfortunately for the husband, he’s really good at being a beta and has no idea about 8,300 words are heading his way.  He also doesn’t spare my feelings at all and has no qualms about telling me when something doesn’t work without needing to use the sandwich method.  I think that makes me lucky 🙂

I’ve also been paying attention to the music I listen to (either in my head or through my speakers) when I edit a chapter.  Chapter One has been brought to you by the oh, so appropriate song Redundant by Green Day.  





Photo of ruins by Free Stock Photos


>Plucking from obscurity

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While trying to accumulate as much gold as possible in a video game I’m playing, I started wondering about some of the characters I’d passed along the journey.  Some tragic things had happened to my main playable character and one event in particular had me thinking.  See, while my main character’s storyline is mostly set in the lore of the game, there is very little mentioned about what happens to the lesser known characters I’ve encountered.  I’m not all that interested in the main events because (while somewhat flimsy), I get to find out plenty.


What I’m more interested in is what happened to the obscure characters, the ones who seemed to have more of a story than what was told, if any of their story was told at all.  I want to know about what affects the main story has on them, what happens to them.  Of course, it occurred to me that I could find out.  I could craft the obscure character and let him tell me what happened.  So far, he’s quite interesting.  I want to know more, I need to see what makes him work, what makes him run.  Along the way, I’ll lob some more defeating events his way and see how he deals.  If he can manage to get to adolescence after being taking away from his mother who was off saving the world, I think he’s got something going.  


The same goes for Wishful Thinking.  My need to delve into the obscure led me to wonder about lesser known mythological beings.  I hear over and over how Greek mythology stories are overdone.  Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t.  Maybe it’s because the major players got too much air time.  I don’t care all that much about the Olympians, in my novel they are peripheral.  I care about the overshadowed immortals, the ones whose stories weren’t deemed all that important to focus on.  


So many people work magic behind the scenes, overshadowed but content to be doing what they love.  They have important stories to share, they are interesting people…we just need to be willing to listen to what they have to say.  In our world, or someone else’s.  I’m going to hop on and go along on this boy’s ride; I think he has something special to say.

  


>Break time is over…

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…let the hard work begin!  The read through of Wishful Thinking is complete.  This go-round is much better than the last (when I couldn’t even read through the whole way).  This means I can begin editing with more of a shape rather than an unassuming blob of a novel.  


Ah, editing.  Some people love the first draft of a novel; the heady, breathless rush to put words on paper (metaphorically speaking for me) and see thoughts become form.  Not me.  My favorite part is planning with extensive outlines and offshoots and what ifs.  Since I can’t spend all my life just planning things…well, I could, but part of the fun in life is finishing those projects too…editing a novel is my second favorite part.  


For me, editing is where I prove to myself I know what I’m doing, I know what I’m trying to say.  The first draft of Wishful Thinking had promise but it wasn’t until I re-wrote most of it that I could see the direction I needed to go in.  I consider my re-write the first editing pass I took since I reshaped the plot and basically made it make sense.  (If it doesn’t make sense, it’s worthless – going on a sticky note push pinned in my drywall)  In editing, I’m starting to look at the individual scenes and their role in the whole package.  And I’m ruthless.  Forward the story or GTFO.  I’d push pin that into my wall too but my eight year old is very interested in colorful language and I’m not talking aubergine.


So far, I’ve noticed a flat scene, a scene that needs a follow-up scene, a scene I chickened out on, etc….  I can’t wait to get back in to those scenes and let the characters tell you what they really think.  No holding back.  Time to make the story better, give it a fresh coat of paint.  









Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos.