The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Finished up Chapter 3--not well, but enough to know what's going on. Now it's time for Chapter 4. So here I sit, once again, with a b*ttload of info to pick through, and no idea how to do it. This time, it's dialog, not travelogue. It's information exchanged through conversation.

Earlier today when I was doing non-writing stuff I was back in gear, the way I usually am, where I am into the characters and their world and thinking about it just for fun. I figured out a couple of things re. characters' actions and when I finally got to the computer, I pulled up the ms and fixed them. Now they're fixed, and I'm back to actual story, and it's a drag. Getting from point A to point B, only it's not physical this time, but it might as well be.

What did I learn from the last time? To cut, cut, cut. To focus on what the characters need, not what the reader needs.

Another thing I noticed on this last pass of the Beginning That Wouldn't Cooperate was that I had lost all sense of one paragraph leading into another. I'd have a paragraph where, say, Character 1 thinks about the weather. Then there'd be a paragraph where he says he's looking forward to having a Diet Coke today. Then there'd be a third paragraph where Character 2 makes a comment about the weather. I had to go back and rearrange everything so like paragraphs were together. I remember learning about how to organize your paragraphs by topic in elementary or middle school, but it seems I forgot that in all the other stuff I was trying to do. I just can't handle twenty different writing tasks at once. I can juggle a few, but no more. The rest have to be cleaned up on a later run-through. could be that on chapters like this, I'd better not move on until I get the chapter right.

One more time, things to remember as I work on this chapter:*

1. If it ain't bare-bone necessary, don't put it in.
2. Think about the characters, not the reader.
3. Characters' emotional journey takes precedence over action or information.
4. If you bring up a thought, stick with it till the point is made.

*These items are not general writing advice. What's that saying about using the right tool for the right job?

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