Monday, 17 October 2011

Last few chapters

I'm at 78, 336 words. I'm pleased to finally be writing action I have actually planned and it (mostly) matches up with the middle chapters now. If there's one thing that I've been aware of it's the paucity of my descriptions and settings. having spent the entire book being asked 'but what does your main character (MC) look like?' I've finally worked out how to introduce her before I have to resort to her staring in a  mirror. I allow my other MC see her right at the opening of the book. Of course, the last eight chapters are essentially in first draft, but I'm working at a good pace and just want to get the framework down. It's interesting to me that the more hours I spend writing, the better my first draft words are. I'm more conscious of my tendency to fall in love with a word and use it everywhere, for example. It's not unusual for me to squeeze one word into two places in the same sentence, for example. For example, I have a bit of a thing, for the word example.

I'm also into the action scenes (my no. 1 son insists in calling it 'the fight scene') which is a relief after all that dialogue. I don't think action scenes are going to be my superpower, though. I'm also very conscious that there is a line between drama and melodrama. I just wish I knew where it is. I do have a small scene where for a change, I step away from my very close character POV writing to a bit of omniscient narration. I hope it gives a breather for the reader between the (hopefully) very suspenseful 'fight scene' (which I am struggling with) and the suspense of the aftermath. Action scenes are a bit like car chases, I think, they often work better in pictures than words. I have a list of 'boy' books to read to get my head around the idea. I also have a book on how to write action, so I'm dipping into that, too.

Conflict, Action and Suspense by William Noble is from the Elements of Fiction Writing series and I recommend them all. I seem to be reading more books on writing as I go through, which I hope will just sink in and improve my writing, because I can't seem to remember much once I've put them down!


  1. Yes, using those books is a wonderful help. One of the best ways I find that helps me - read and read and read all the books that have been published and in my own genre and have a style that I admire. Then I proceed to write a chapter in a similar 'voice' to see how it works.

  2. I'm doing the same with books in the similar genre, but it's hard to balance reading time with writing time! I like the idea of using other voices, I'll give that a go as my main character's voice is a bit gentle compared to the others.

  3. Hi Reb, I took your advice of reading the Writer's Digest books Rozelle, Bell, Kress etc when writing my diss - thankfully now handed in. Hurray, hurray, hurray. I've gotten over my resulting nervous breakdown. I found them all really helpful. There is one specifically for Descriptions and Settings - Do you already have that one? XXX Boz

  4. Fight scenes? Things are hotting up!

  5. Hi Boz, I do have the book - I'm just a bit behind with my reading but I'm getting there! Well done on the dissertation, I do envy you for completing the MA. And Downith, having struggled to write the first few hundred words of the big fat battle scene, I totally got into it and had loads of fun. I'm at 85k now!

  6. Hi Reb, It sounds like you are doing really well with your book...Once your book is published (as im sure it will be!) I will be buying it! I was hoping you could give me some advice, as you know I am studying the same course you did with OU - A215, yet I find it difficult to find time to freewrite. I havent created one fictional character yet and beginning to worry. I am motivated, but I feel that I am not into the swing of it. Any hints or tips?
    I was also wondering, if I could be cheeky, and ask for you to run your professional eye over my 750 word I know Im heading in the right direction.
    Dont worry if not, I feel rude asking to be honest..
    Your house sounds like its really coming along. My sister is the same at the moment, working on it room by room, finding its character bit by bit. Its pretty exciting as you see it progress!