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.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yesterday was productive. Spent a few hours on one section, then spent a few hours cutting and consolidating pieces not yet completely converted out of GN form. The ms length dropped by over 20 pages, which feels good because maybe now I've got room to add some of the scenes I need. Right now the ms is at 158 pages (but only 25,000 words; remember, the format is experimental), including many pages of leftovers at the end, where I always stick things I cut but am not sure I'm really going to do away with. Sometimes you have to see how something reads before you decide what to do. That's why I always end up with pages and pages of floaty bits of scenes tagging along at the end of an ms. So far I haven't ever forgotten to get rid of them before I send to an editor, but I'm sure the time will come when I accidentally leave them there.

Today I met a writer friend to talk, and was going to print out some of this ms to show what I've been doing. I printed out about 10-15 pages, then decided I wasn't going to take it because it's the same general thing WF has seen many, many times before. Then I thought, no, maybe I can get a fresh eye on the framework issue, because I still don't know about that.

Then as I was printing out more, I remembered that yes, I do need some kind of framework to warn the reader that this is not for middle grade readers. It's not appropriate for middle school, if you ask me. So I've got to have something up front as a hint, because the tone changes so drastically--the story begins with a ten (or eleven) year old in a home-sweet-home situation, then later sex starts creeping in, and violence will pretty soon after that. So yes, framework is necessary on that count alone.

Also had the thought that maybe the framework needs to stay uncomplicated--more of a mood piece without much action, without story, maybe without characters except the MC--so as not to compete with and distract from the story proper.

WF had me verbalize the purposes of a framework, and we discussed those, and we discussed the main problem of having a frame, which is losing the reader by jumping around in voice, viewpoint, time, and place. We talked about ways to minimize the shock of switching gears, ways to help the reader move smoothly from one section to the next. It's possible, we decided, that the framework might be able to consist of one scene up front, and one scene at the end.

WF reminded me: keep it as simple as possible. I ought to have that stitched on a sampler and hung over the computer.

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