I just finished Act 1 of Colors to Stars and I’tm already in analyzing mode. There might not be enough words. Should it be longer? Hmm. I can add a scene here and here without slowing down the pacing too much. Might even help it build better.
The only problem is, I have experienced time and time again, and heard from others over and over, that the priority of a first draft is not word counts or the perfect outline or seamless pacing: it’s to finish. So I have to do the hard thing and not go back. I have to keep writing, moving foward.
The nice thing is that my outline, while complete and leads between plot points smoothly (I hope!), leaves plenty of room for discovery. In fact, almost every single scene I’ve plotted has evolved much differently than I originally pictured. The start and finish lines are the same, but how the characters move from one to the other is a whole new adventure.Read More »
Some of you may know that I am a Super-Outliner. I don’t ‘pants’ anything when it comes to writing. I fill up every inch of our white board several times.
Each time I outline, I do it a little different, being guided by revelations I’ve had about plotting. I love a story that builds well and develops characters in an interesting way, something I worked on a lot in THE VARKEN. For THE BLESSED, my outlining developed even further, but I started the process the same way I always do.
Three Act Structure. I love it.
With THE BLESSED I had a vague idea of where things started and where things ended. The beginning of Act I and the end of Act III. Because of how the conflict is sparked, I knew where Act I would end, but that left Act II and III largely ambiguous.
So I put on my thinking cap. “How am I going to get to that big finish? What makes sense?”Read More »
I’ve gotten through seven or eight scenes now, and I can already feel the story improving. I am cutting out a LOT. Every scene goes down in word count. Sometimes scenes are only 100 words less, but in other cases, over 1,000 words have been cut from the story. Most of this is exposition or redundant wording, trimming the story into a novel.
I wonder sometimes if I should be more upset when I have to scrap large sections of what I’ve written, or even whole scenes, but every time I press that ‘delete’ button, I feel a weight lifting off my shoulders.
Since the Eviryian Tales [does that sound catchy? Just trying it out for now] are YA novels, the story really needs to pick up traction quickly, and I am finding more and more that interesting but unessential tidbits are more unessential than interesting. Maybe that’s why I’m not fighting to delete and erase. Of course, I have a saved copy of the first draft, but it is rife with fluff, inconsistencies, and mistakes.
I think a principle that is really helping me with editing is realizing
I am not writing this story for me. I am writing this story for others. #writing#editing