Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Finding my way back from chaos (200)

Every time I write a novel - and this is no. 5 - I get to 50k as if I were weaving something by hand. Each new plot twist or character is a new thread, and the trick is to not drop any and make sure you use them all from time to time. The problem is, if you get so far into a novel the danger is that you have so many threads they lose track of them. Worse, you have a slow day or two, and you drop the lot. I just can't hold that many threads at one time.

So, here I am, a few words short of 60,000 words, and I realise it's happening again. So today, I took advice and started writing out cards for each scene. I decided to start with all the Dee scenes, and soon found each scene had things I needed to tie up. For example, I introduced a lovely character from the Inquisition - and then somehow, he disappears, wasted. So he needs to be woven back in, which mirrors the present day thread, which is fun. So I ended up printing off ten chapters of that strand and read through, found and tied up loose ends, came up with more plausible bits, and examined the first and last sentences of each scene. I tend to end scenes well on high tension, but start scenes very weakly. Kelley wakes up, mostly, hardly high tension.

So, having worked over about 25k words, I feel positive about the sequence, and have lots more to write. One concern, though - the story is growing more and more, and I think I'm going to end up with over a hundred thousand words - probably quite a few more than that. 

Hopefully, cutting it down will produce a cleaner draft, but that's in the future. Meanwhile, I am still very thrilled at my daughter's graduation and engagement.  

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