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, October 1, 2010

Am trying to get a grip on larger picture of ms using sticky notes on the inside of a cardboard box, because a poster board wasn't large enough. I've got the end idea I need to come around to* written in front of me so I don't lose sight of it. I've got a different color of sticky note for each thread I'm trying to deal with. Each sticky note contains one scene I'm pretty sure I want to write.

It looks like there are two main threads to be woven together. One follows a certain secondary character and mostly appears to be plotty stuff. Another follows a different secondary character and mostly appears to be character-theme-ish quiet scenes. Hmm.

It looks to me like there's a turning point, and after that there won't be room for much of anything except plotty stuff. That might be the last third or so of the book. Not sure. But once that turning point happens, the MC is going to be obsessed and unable to think of anything else.

However, if there's mostly only quiet stuff for a huge chunk of the ms before that, I've got a problem: sagging story.

One thing I've wanted to do since I started this ms was to use the idea of six bullets as a ticking-clock device to pull the reader through. However, the way it stands now, four of the six bullets are fired in the last third of the book, which is already going to be moving quickly (if the story really does go this direction). So...I think I can move one of the bullets up somehow, and not lose anything. I think it can go in a third colored thread, which belongs to yet another character/storyline. Except I don't know how this third thread/storyline fits in with the others yet. However, I do know it's part of the middle, and it's not quiet, so that's good.

So, hmm, hmm. Right now I could write out a couple of scenes to feel out some stuff, or I could freewrite a secondary character's backstory, because I'm going to need to have that firmly in the back of my head in order to write the middle.

Oh, yo. Revisions on w-f-h just popped up in my inbox. Well, there's no way I'm going to put all my lovely different-colored sticky notes aside just yet, mere hours after I got them out. I've skimmed the e-mail, and will digest its contents while proceeding on dystopian ms for the rest of today's writing time. Tomorrow I will look at the commented-on w-f-h ms itself, egad. By then my loins should be fully girded.

Okay, so anyway. Not to put too fine a point on it, I need to figure out when my MC has sex with a certain character before I can understand how the third colored thread weaves in with the other two. And the problem I'm having there is that my MC needs to visit the same place twice, when he doesn't actually go there very often, and only one of the visits is exciting, plot-wise. The other's boring...except for the sex. Only he won't know he's going to have sex till he gets there, so there's nothing to compel the reader. Therefore: sagging story.

*Or rather, two ideas: mercy binds the group and strengthens it; mercy to oneself is necessary as well. These are the things that drive the book, underlie all the character arcs, and pull everything together.