June 28, 2009

A Problem and a Challenging Solution

Okay, so I've got an interesting problem to deal with. I'm almost done with my first draft. I've got two very short scenes, one really long scene (the final battle!) and then another quick one to wrap it up. Only problem is, this was supposed to be a 60,000-word novel and I'm only at 32k!

A little tip for other writers: filler is bad. I don't want to use filler.

So what do I do?

Fortunately, I've already planned to go back and insert entire chapters from Nathan (my hero's) point of view. This will add depth to my love story, a new voice, maybe a little history (because he is a ghost after all), and we can see the heroine from another perspective.

(I expect the unexpected to happen when I do this. My muse likes the throw some cool stuff on the page when I do stuff like this. )

And then I'll add a romance for poor Lisa, who has desperately wanted a boyfriend since chapter 1.

I'll also rewrite some of my current scenes from his perspective and see which is better. Then, I'll go back to the beginning and add rich detail, a LOT more conflict (I've decided life's been way too easy for Rachel), and a ton of showing (vs. telling).

I should get my words in, but this is going to take a lot of planning.

First of all, when I finish the first draft I'm taking a break! Maybe two weeks. I'll work on my phantom project, maybe catch up on my reading, stuff like that. Then I'll go through what I have and write out what I'm hoping to get out of each scene. What do I want to tell the reader? How do I show it instead? What's the conflict? What could make it worse? How would EACH character (present or not) react? What are my characters seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, tasting, thinking, doing, and saying? What do they want to hide from the other characters? What other motivation might they have?

Yeah, it's a long process, but the product that comes from it is more than worth it!
Then, I read through a hard copy of my book, writing in comments, suggestions, thoughts, and nit-picky edits. THEN I go through a soft copy and actually MAKE all those edits. (By now I'll be exhausted.)

I'd like to get all of this done by October 1st. (I know, good luck, right?) That way I'll have a full month to plan my phantom project in time for NaNoWriMo.

Think I can do it?

We'll see.

By the way, the Writing Tip of the Day is:
Never resist editing, because your writing isn't etched in stone and can always be improved for the reader.

How appropriate.

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