I need to get Nita out the door, so I’m getting serious about it. Well, I was always serious about it, but now I’m REALLY serious about it. It has problems that I have to identify, which means analysis. Argh. So here’s my plan. (Yes, once again, you’re being subjected to me talking about my writing problems. Feel free to skip.)
As many of you know, I write in acts, usually four acts, defined by the turning points they end in. Currently, my acts are too long, except for the last one which is a little short, but I can fix all of that. The problem (I think) is that there’s so much Stuff in this book that it needs focused. So my first task, after I reread everything, is to tighten everything up. Which means an act outline.
And that meant figuring out the major aspects of the plot to focus on. I decided on five:
Nita’s character arc. (Duh.)
Nick’s character arc. (Also duh.)
The love story. (It’s the romance, stupid.)
The antagonist’s plot (Duh again.)
The subplot romance. (Because I love it.)
That’s it, the five points I have to hit in each act. All others need not apply.
And that left me with this [redacted for spoilers]:
Nita tries to ignore the supernatural, focuses on island problems.
Nick starts to change, deals with emotions, focuses on future as Devil
Nita and Nick turn to each other for help.
[redacted] finds out from Vinnie that Nita and Nick are talking, sends Ukobach to kill her, tells [redacted] to increase the poison dosage for Nick.
[Nita meets Button, Max comes to Earth]
Nita has to adapt to the supernatural
Nick becomes emotionally human again
Nita and Nick join forces, assemble a team
[redacted] sends [redacted] to kill Nita, [redacted] to seduce him. tells [redacted] to increase the poison dose again.
[Button and Max meet [redacted] they call a truce]
Nita is fully in on the supernatural and Nick
Nick is [redacted] but keeps coming back to Nita
Nita and Nick fall in love [redacted]
[redacted] poisons Nick and [redacted], tries to kill Nita a third time
[Button and Max work together [redacted]
Nita and Nick save each other, commit
[Button and Max are together]
Yeah, I know the [redacted]s are annoying. Sorry about that.
I’m going to lose some stuff I like when I focus on those five points in four acts, but that’s writing for you. If not “kill your darlings,” at least cut them and put them in a file where you’ll eventually forget them.
The thing about breaking the book into acts is that it makes it manageable. Instead of 100,000 words, I’ve got 33,000, 28,000, 24,000, 15,000 to write. Actually what I’ve got in this draft is 34,326, 36,282, 30,715, 11,590. So some revision ahead. Much cutting. Focus! I can do this.
Of course, Bob keeps sending me messages about pirate zombies on icebergs, so it’s not clear sailing here, but I will get this book out the door.
And then my agent will be astounded at four finished books in one year. Well, I’m astounded. So if you don’t hear from me for awhile, I’m cutting like crazy, focusing like a demon, and repelling pirate zombies from my increasingly demanding collaborator. It’ a good life.
So what’s new with you?