Trudy 8: Regrouping and 10,000 words

Okay, this plan-by-scene thing is not working. Evidently I don’t write in scenes.

I do, however, seem to write in acts. That’s the good news. Oh, and I’m at 10,000 words. In theory, halfway done with the rough draft.

The bad news is that there appear to be only three acts. And I’m pretty sure I need four. The first act set itself up nicely. The fourth act seems to know where it’s going. But as usual, it’s the mess in the middle that’s going to get me. Probably because I had this entire novella planned to take place from six PM to six AM. Not a lot of time to develop character in there let alone a romance.

So I’ve dragged out my trusty white board, scoured all the Don’t Look Down notes off it, and started diagramming Trudy. I know the turning points, but that does me no good if I don’t know the people. The key is to make Trudy determined and unyielding without making her dumb as a rock for not just giving up the toy when all these dangerous men are trying to take it from her. I have to make the reader say, “Hell, I wouldn’t give it up, either.” Which goes back to motivation. If they love Trudy and they believe that she believes she has to get that toy, they’ll take the ride with her. Otherwise, she’s a TDTL heroine: To Dumb To Live.

Write this down: Character is the soul of fiction. Yes, I know that’s obvious. But it appears to be a lesson I learn all over again every time I write.

9 thoughts on “Trudy 8: Regrouping and 10,000 words

  1. For all of us hungry readers who kvetch at our favorite authors to write faster, faster, your Trudy saga is a glimpse into the torture you go through to entertain us. I’m finding your journey enlightening and giving me a deeper appreciation of your talent.


  2. You and me both – we can never stop learning those lessons, can we? Thank you for keeping us going with Trudy – I’d love to see you do Nano!

  3. Every word you write just puts us readers closer to another book by Jenny Crusie. SO keep writing already 🙂

    Is Bob always that snarky?

  4. Already I can’t wait to read about Trudy in the published book–I am enjoying reading about Trudy in your blog too, immensely–so the character development can’t be TOO stunted, right?
    And, Bob, let’s not confuse novella with haiku.

  5. I’m fascinated (or maybe ‘obsessed’ would be a better word) by the idea of diagramming Trudy. I don’t suppose you’d care to put up a photo of that whiteboard?

  6. Write the fourth act anyway and then delete the first act–it’s all junk backstory anyway, right? 😉

    It’s like the first 1st chapter of Don’t Look Down that’d been posted. In the follow-up, revised, new-and-improved version y’all whacked off nearly the first half of that chapter (which was mostly introspection and getting to the action) and then started at the big action–where all heck was hitting the fan.

    That’s what’s being taught all over the place–you need the first chapter more for you than for the story to get you to the interesting stuff. Maybe that’s what your first act is? Just getting you to the good stuff.

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