Welcome to another installment of rewriting the breakfast scene. There’s a reason why this one is so difficult: It’s the central turning point in the first act, the place where Nita and Nick start seeing each other as human beings instead of puzzles to be solved.
No, not me, I’m pretty chipper here, getting plenty of sleep, beautiful day, everything’s fine.
I’m talking about exhausting my text by rewriting. Continue reading
Today is Tolkien Reading Day.
One way to describe the difference between discovery drafts and truck drafts is that discovery drafts are “this happens and then this happens and this happens,” and truck drafts are “and this is what those things mean.” The way to do that isn’t by telling the reader what the stuff means; it’s by putting the action on the page in a way that leads the reader to interpret subconsciously what it means. Structure is one excellent way to communicate meaning. Continue reading
So. The next chunk. It’s boring.
That’s not exactly true, Nita almost gets killed, so that’s good, but there’s still too much chat. (I love dialogue.) And Nick’s stuff is deadly dull. The structure doesn’t help; it’s two scene sequences spliced together which insures that one of those sequences will be annoying because it’ll take people away from the one they liked. So here’s what I need to do: Continue reading
Okay, before you read the rest of this post, what color are demons? Not in Nita’s book, in real life. When you think of demons, cartoon demons, movie demons, whatever, what color are they?
Decide before you read the rest of this.
My plan for today is to go out and get food and drink and then return and finish up the next chunk of Act One and get it up here for you all to take apart. But other things are going on and one of them is that I have to clear up the website because it’s been awhile.
So three questions: Continue reading
Today is World Sleep Day. Get some.
Setting is really important to me, both in fiction and in real life, and Atlas Obscura sent me a link to the perfect Crusie house this morning. I’ll never be able to use it in a book because it would take 30,000 words to describe it. The short article points out some of the phallic shapes, but completely misses the vaginal window and the fallopian tube front door. And the Eve figure is fantastic, pretty much what I’m hoping every Crusie heroine feels like at the end of the story. Continue reading
So the first part of Act One is two parallel scenes: Nita vs. Button and Nick vs Vinnie. Or, if you will, two determined drunk people against two determined sober people. In the first scene, Nita wins because she convinces Button it’s important to get out of the car and investigate. In the second scene, Nick wins because he terrorizes Vinnie into giving him information. And both winners want the same thing: To find out what’s going wrong on the island and get the person who ordered Joey’s death. The scenes are parallel, but they’re not identical.
The key to parallel scenes is to make them enough alike that they feel as if they belong together, that they’re part of a whole, but keep them different enough that people don’t feel as though they’re reading the same scene with different people. Then having introduced two powerful (hey, they won) protagonists, it’s time to bring them together while developing the plot. In this case, the plot is complex enough that introducing their relationship is going to take more than one scene. In fact, it’s going to take a scene sequence. Continue reading