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
Today is Rubber Eraser Day.
Try to imagine a world without the ability to erase mistakes. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.
(Actually, my fave eraser is a Mars Staedtler white..)
And 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!
Chapters are useless. They’re arbitrary divisions in a story that serve no purpose except to give readers a chance to put down the book and never come back. Unlike acts, scene sequences, scenes, beats, and all the other narrative units, chapters actually work against structure and meaning: you have to bend the book to make them work.
But they’re standard, so they stay. And I’m about to print out the first act which means I have to figure out where the chapter headings go so I put in transitions between the @#$%^&* chapters I don’t want in there anyway. Continue reading
I’m working on the assumption here that somebody out there is interested in this wonky stuff. If you’re not, feel free to skip. There’s math in this post.
So the Breakfast Scene at the end of the second mini-act was 3,524 words, and it needed to be a lot less. I don’t like scenes that are over 2500, even transition scenes like this one, so that was my upper limit. I ended up at 2560, so pretty good but still more cuts to come on the paper edit. Here’s how I did it.
Discovery drafts almost always run long. That’s because they’re writer-based drafts, not intended for readers or publication, they’re just the writer getting it all down on paper or screen. You’re supposed to write long on a discovery draft; it’s the writing equivalent of taking the back roads so that you see a lot of stuff. Yes, you’ll get there faster if you take the freeway, but all you’ll see is freeway.
But once you’ve explored, the next time you take the trip, you go for fast-paced and focused: You take the truck draft out on the highway. You cut like crazy. Continue reading