One of the things that is probably becoming clear is that discovery drafts are really sailing into the unknown. Why is Lily seeing a therapist? I dunno. Why is she working in a diner? I dunno. What does Fin have to do with her past? I dunno. Who’s the antagonist? I dunno. This is the part at the beginning where I just write whatever comes to mind. It used to drive Bob crazy. “What is this stuff doing in here?” “I dunno.”
But your questions are good ones, the few I can answer and the ones I can’t, and there are a lot of great ideas generated by them–Why is the diner a Faraday cage? I dunno–and good reminders–Where the hell is the cat?–so we’re corking right along here. You wanted Fin’s PoV, so that’s the first scene below, and then there’s another one after that that’s pure info-dump so there will be massive rewriting, or there would be if this was going to be a book.
This is not going to be a book.
Welcome to the Argh Novel Project, a multi-week exploration of fiction and the process by which . . . okay, it’s just us playing around but that’s good, too. We’re starting with the Surprise Lily first scene because that’s what most of the comments said, although I did some very light editing (took out some unnecessary words and omitted all the “smells bad” stuff because you people kept insisting on historical accuracy). There’s a page under Work In Progress in the blog menu above that I’ll try to keep updated so that all the stuff from this is one place, but that’s about as much organization as I’m capable of. New stuff goes up on Monday, we talk in the comments all week, on Friday I try to synthesize and you can comment on that, I write on Saturday and Sunday, and on Monday we start all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. If this gets boring or it doesn’t work, we’ll do something else. No rules (some guidelines, no Should, no worries. Argh People, start your engines:
The process of moving from a discovery draft (which is just writing to see what the story’s about) to a truck draft (which is an early draft that isn’t great but is probably good enough to publish if I get hit by a truck) is mostly about deconstructing a scene by beats to see what the hell is in there, and revising that to what’s supposed to be in there, once I’ve gotten a good overview of the act or entire book. I’ve done about a zillion drafts of the first breakfast scene, but they were all discovery drafts. It’s time to get serious about this sucker. For one thing, this scene over 3900 words and for another, it goes nowhere. it’s an overwritten, wandering, bloviating mess.
Here’s the rewrite analysis:
So the only way this check-in-every-Friday-on-the-book’s-progress works is if I’m completely honest, so I’m going to be completely honest.
But I swear to god, anybody who laughs is going to get barred from commenting. IT’S NOT FUNNY.
Okay, it’s kinda funny.
Kelly asked about “Cold Hearts,” so here’s an update that shows how I work from idea to story. Sort of. Not really there yet. (I know I talked about this already in the Questionable: Turning an Idea Into a Plot, so think of this as an example of that. Kinda.)