Monthly Archives: May 2014

WIPMarathon Check-In #3

Last Check-in Wordcount + ChapterCount (+ scene count if you’re revising):
105K. 50 chapters.

Current WC + CC (or SC):
112K. That makes me feel all depressed. :P But a lot has been rewriting, and that’s just how it goes. Up to 59 chapters somehow; I didn’t think I had split that many of them. Right now the third draft is done through chapter 25, and the 4th draft has hit chapter 10. An explanation of this later.

WIP Issues this week:
Had a really big one. I was working on a chapter that really needed a second perspective character for the last half. The problem was, the character I had slated to give that perspective was no longer in the same time zone. I had 3 named characters in the scene and struggled to decide which one to write the scene from (hint: the one with the greatest emotional investment is the only right answer). Finally I settled on one, and started writing.

I spent the whole evening writing, but in the morning I got stuck. I tried doing the end of it 2 different ways, and hated both of them so much that I actually deleted the scene and decided not to split the perspective after all.

Fortunately I had time to ruminate on the scene before I had to do the rewrite, thanks in part to the need to redraft an earlier chapter in a major way. By the time I finished with that, my head was back on straight and I came up with a third scenario that let me keep everything I’d already written after all. (Hooray for Scrivener!)

What I learned this week in writing:
Um, there was a big one. What was it? …Ahh, yes, pacing the backstory. A lot of books start with a great big infodump. This is generally seen as a bad thing, but I’ve rarely seen any suggestions for fixing it. I managed to axe my prologue and original first chapter, allowing me to start right with the good stuff, but in order to pull it off I had to rework a major storyline.

Anyway … basically what I discovered is that you DO need your prologue, but not to sit at the beginning of the novel. DO write that infodumpy prologue. Get it off your chest. Then move it somewhere and use it as a checklist for everything that MUST be told in the narrative before you get to the point in your novel where the reader absolutely has to know it.

I think this method can also be used when you feel your scene is slowed down too much by internal monologue. Axe the passages and put them on the checklist too, then work the important points in beforehand.

What distracted me this week while writing:
A new critique partner. :D Actually gained two of them this month. Aside from spending time reading and writing feedback, I’ve discovered that it’s been long enough since I started the 3rd draft here that as I shell out chapters to my partners I’ve been doing proper 4th draft edits first. So I have to make sure to keep my pacing even, and not get behind on the 3rd pass.

Last 200 words:
They were in a cavern. The ground was black asphalt, running out to the sides of the irregular space, but the ceiling arced and curved unevenly, as did two of the walls. A third was mostly natural, but large pieces of corrugated steel had been formed into a wall across the remaining section. There was a door in that part, incongruously marked ‘EXIT’. The last wall was grey concrete with steel pillars and lights at intervals. Along it were more TAGs like those which had rescued them in the woods, and farther out were parked several transports of various sizes.

A wide double door opened through the fourth wall, and through this people came. Pam ran to the arms of a lanky man in his forties, who embraced her so vigorously that Wes made himself look away. Not even the dog had ever greeted him that warmly. Well, maybe the dog.

To either side, similar reunions were occurring. And then there were those whose anxious voices went unanswered. Wes shut his ears to them and hurried through the double doors.

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized