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 4, 2010

Finished two w-f-h stories that took much, much longer than they should have (my fault), and am in the middle of packets, end-of-semester thingamabobs, w-f-h book project, and a partial on the dystopian ms to give to agent, who needs it ASAP.

I worked on the dystopian ms some yesterday, and have been figuring out what goes in the first three chapters. This problem is actually a little clearer than usual--figuring out the beginning of a story--because for once I know most of the book before I've gotten very far into it. I have a vague idea of the ending it's heading toward, I know the thematic and emotional arcs, and I know most of the stuff that's going to happen along the way. What I've got to do is play with the pieces that are up front and see how to get the story rolling and keep it tightly paced and on edge, but also give the reader what they need for depth and backstory.

I've got chapters one and two, basically--I think--and am well into chapter three. But I've got to figure out what chapter three is building toward. What is the idea I want to leave the reader on, at the end of chapter three? That's going to be the end of the partial, so it needs to be strong.

Chapter three is where other characters start coming in. I also have the option to drift into some backstory here; the action has stopped, for a moment, and we're in a quiet period. So...I guess I'll need to think about what the reader wants to know next, after just having read all the previous pages.

What is the reader going to be wondering about, here in chapter three? I've got the answers in my head. I suppose I ought to see which answers might fall into place most naturally here, and weigh that with what I think the reader will be most curious about at this point.

No. First I need to think exactly what everyone in the story is doing. It's morning, so they're going to be going about their daily doings, whatever those are at this particular time of year. That could easily get boring, though; there still has to be some kind of conflict or tension, or I'm going to get bored. And I want this story to move like a motherf*cker. I want this story to be Hunger Games meets The Giver, but for guys.

Maybe I could go ahead and bring in some of the other characters, and go ahead and get into a scene I have in mind that starts another thread. In chapter three? Will that work, starting another thread before I've even established the first ones? Hmm. I think it might.

I went to put that on a post-it so I don't forget, because I can't work on this right now, and found a note I wrote to myself last night about this very chapter. It says "These are the people I have killed..." and then it lists them. So I might do that, too, list the people the MC has killed and get in some backstory that way. Then go into the new thread and the new character. I was thinking about him last night, anyway.

I'd better write all this down on a post-it, but then I also better find a place to put the post-it where I'll actually stop to check it before I sit down to work on this ms again.

I really do need an office, with lots of desk space. And a maid; I need a maid.

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