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.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Didn't really have a chance to work on my own stuff today, but I took about twenty minutes and did anyway. Ended up looking at that key place where my MC decides to kill the guy, and started picking through that moment pretty carefully, just to see how it holds up. What I ended up doing was putting a chapter break right after it--right when the MC realizes people are coming in. Now the scene ends on the thought that everything he's just decided has to change again, instantly.

What I don't like about this is that it makes for a chapter of about three single-spaced pages, which is pretty short, and it's really part of a continuing scene, so it feels a little artificially truncated to me. The break seems to exist (or right now it does, I might see something else about it later when I have more time ) strictly for cliffhanger purposes and no other.

But what I do like about it is that it helps me "see" what I'm doing, and even in just twenty minutes I'm paying attention to details that I'd lost during the hours I'd spent on it when it was part of a bigger continuing scene. Like I'd lost the third character in the scene, a kid, and kept forgetting he was even there. Now, because the focus has suddenly narrowed due to the chapter ending so quickly, I'm suddenly able to consider what the kid's role is and what his interactions with the MC are and what they might mean and do.

My mind's been on emotional points of scenes lately because that's part of what I'm lecturing about in a couple of weeks, and I'm wondering if that's what's going on here--if breaking this part off on a whim is actually forcing me to consider the piece separately and making me see it for what it can do for the story, rather than as part of the continuum of the scene. If so, this should help me with whatever comes next. Having that white space severs the events; having a chapter break gives my writing head a complete, fresh start on whatever I have to accomplish once those people come in. It could be I'll put it back together at some point, but for now it seems like a good way to work.