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.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Am finally getting back to dystopian ms. Last week, or the week before (forget which) I was about to miss yet another turn-in date I'd given my agent for having the partial in, and I was so close to finishing chapter 3 (and thus, the partial) that I decided to just sit down and devote myself entirely to finishing it, perhaps in a morning session, and then (thought I, tra-la!) it would be done by afternoon and I could dive back into all the other things piling up on my desk--dive in happily, freed of the shadow of this one important yet unfinished project.

Bad move (of course). I ended up getting stuck, but I was so close to having it fall into place that I spent the entire day trying to force it to work, and ended up without a partial and with all my other work piled even higher.

What happened was that I had the end of chapter three narrowed down to two possible scenes--but by the time I smoothed out the first part of chapter three and started popping the scenes in and out to figure out which one worked and built naturally, I had lost sight of the transition between them. So I kept gliding over it, using it to weld the front of the chapter and its following scene together, rather than thinking the transition through in solemn depth. I kept pushing it, redoing it over and over, and it wasn't working. Finally I had to give up, defeated, knowing I'd been a fool to think I could get this completed in a predetermined time slot.

A day or so later I realized I should have stopped and dealt with that transition as its own little scene, given it some time and respect, and checked in with the characters to make sure I was following their train of thought and not using them as a means to my end. They were fine in the actual scenes around it, and I knew how the transition worked to move the plot from one scene to the next. I just kind of forgot that the characters--especially my secondary characters--aren't my b*tches, so to speak. If I try to treat them like they're my b*tches, I'll end up paying for it. And I did.

So today I started on it again, and by now I already know which second scene to use, and where the chapter ends and where the next one starts*. But I've got to get this little transitional bit going, and I'm a little leery of it, like if I put my hand out it's going to bite me. At least I know what I have to do this time: treat it with respect.

*Due to the proverbial back-of-the-mind processing that goes on while you're busy with other stuff.

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