So I’m back in Discovery Draft for the rest of the book, and it’s terrible. I look at it and think, “Explanation, chat, more chat, something happens!, explanation, more chat . . .” And here’s the really bad part: no antagonist action. It’s just Nita and Nick trying to sort out the aftermath.
But then, it’s Discovery Draft.
The good thing about having worked through the first act is that I know it’ll be fine. That’ll be four thousand drafts from now, but it will be fine. There’s some comfort in that. Nora said once (paraphrasing here) that she could fix a bad page but she couldn’t fix a blank page. The discovery draft is just the first part of the journey, putting the colors on the page, so I’m settling in to admire all the bright, fun scenery as I wander through my story (there’s a dog!). My mind is actually a fun place to be.
So I’ll get serious later and remember I have antagonists after I’ve written my next twenty pages of Rab explaining to Nita how Hell works.
Today is Save the Frogs Day.
That includes the frogs that get you out from under yarn projects that you have decided you no longer want to pursue. Continue reading
Three times a day, we go out to the yard. (There’s a dog door out to the back that they can take any time they want, but we also do the formal bolt-for-the-side-yard. I shut them in and go do things like wake up or start lunch and then go back to see Mona and Veronica looking at me through the pickets, tragedy in canine form.
Welcome back to This Is a Really Good Book Thursday. Tell us the title and author of something delightful to read, fiction or non-fiction. The weekend is coming and we need good books!
“Are there four separate but not equal antagonists, or one antagonist and three minions [in The Devil in Nita Dodd]?”
There’s always only one main antagonist in a classic linear story because you can only have one climax with the obligatory scene of the protagonist and the antagonist facing each other in final battle.
But you can have subplots that the protagonist and (in this case) her team* have to clear out of the way to get to the Big Bad. In the best of all possible worlds, you have one main antagonist and a couple of subplots that aren’t life or death, say family or work. In this case, which I do not recommend, I ended up with five different factions fighting for different things:
I’m working on the rest of the book now, back in Discovery Draft, but I’m far enough along that I need to know What Would The Antagonist Do?
I have my antagonists. There are four separate groups working on the island, all chasing four wildly different goals with wildly different motivations and led by wildly different people. Unfortunately, I can only have one Antagonist, Nita’s opposite number, the person who’s the greatest danger, the one who’s manipulating the other sub-antagonists, the person Nita will face in the obligatory scene. And praise the Girls, I figured that out. Now all I have to do is develop character and plot a bunch of turning points. Continue reading
Today is Earth Day. Trying to imaging what Trump is going to do with this one, since he praised Frederick Douglass for all the good work he’s doing for Black History Month: “somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.” Since he has previously suggested that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, I’m assuming he’ll burn an endangered species while strip mining Yellowstone and talking about his YUGE victory. (You lost by more than three million votes, Donald. You’re a loser.)
Fuck that. It’s Jelly Bean Day.
Not even Donald Trump can destroy jelly beans.
One of the weirdest things I discovered early in my career was that a story I’ve been writing on a screen not only looks completely different on the page, it reads completely different on the page.
That’s why a paper edit is crucial. Continue reading
Hey, it’s this Is a Really Good Book Thursday. Tell us the title and author of something delightful to read, fiction or non-fiction. The weekend is coming and we need good books!
I’ve been working on the paper edit, cleaning house (the never-ending job), and hosting Krissie and Lani and Sweetness and Light, so I haven’t been here. But I’ve been working, I swear. Doing the second pass through on the paper edit on Act One, so that’ll be up soon (Krissie goes home tomorrow). And Lani took a big bag of yarn home, and Krissie’s car is packed to the roof with it. That sounds like an exaggeration,but it’s not. Here’s what my living room looked like when we started: Continue reading