I am kaitco

a writer's log

The fine line Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:46 pm
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It occurred to me yesterday that I’m finally beginning to understand that fine line that exists between showing my audience what I mean and telling them what I mean.

I previously thought I learned my show vs. tell lesson after writing Flight, where too much tell resulted in an incomplete character, or rather a disconnect between what was supposed to be a favored character and my audience. As I push through this edit of Damen, however, I see that I have many, many lessons yet to learn in my writing endeavours.

Where Flight told too much, Damen has overcompensated by showing far too much and telling far too little. As I re-read, I find that I can map out the character Damen’s every movement between August 2007 and May 2008. It’s unbelievable!

I’m sure that when I was writing most of this last year, all this detail seemed relevant, but in hindsight, the details just make me want to pull out my hair. That’s not to say that it isn’t interesting to see every facet of a character’s life; it’s the fact that I spent nearly 300K words doing it and now have to rewrite entire chapters as I concede to a word count that’s aggravating.

…thus ends my rant of having to re-write the entirety of Chapter 14 due to my own hubris…

I’m down to 240K words and am finally into the meat of the novel. With that, however, comes to realization that I’ve a lot of re-writing coming to me. The first part of the novel was finely polished and led to my overall goal, but into Chapter 15-16 and beyond, I’m starting to see where I floundered a lot last year, hence the 15K chapters.

I think I may just sit down and just read for the rest of this week, focusing on whether what’s on the page is relevant and have a rough idea of how I’d like to reorder the remainder of the book. Unfortunately, with more than 20 chapters left to edit in this manner, this means that I’ll have to back my final draft goal to May 31 and the agent search to July, but I’d rather have all the proverbial ducks in a row and know I did this right, than rush it and face rejection when I didn’t do my best.

 

A chapter a day, makes the book…yeah Sunday, April 15, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:01 pm
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I’m currently on Chapter 14 of 40 and I’m down about 44K words, which brings me to a current word count of 243K words. Still quite a behemoth, but it’s getting manageable. If I stay at a rate of about 40K words deleted per 12-13 chapters, I should be able to hit my ideal word count. The problem, however, is tackling that length.

I’ve fallen into this routine of measuring the word count first (10K for Chapter 14) and then reading through the chapter figure out where I was going with it. Sometimes, I’m lucky and I can even recall saying to myself, “I’ll have to cut this on the next draft.” as I was creating the original prose or dialogue, but sometimes this involves almost re-writing an entire chapter. Chapter 14, at first glance, looks like one of those luckier chapters since I know I’ve got loads I can just strikethrough and keep trucking, but it’s tying together the relevant pieces that will require a general re-write that is so infuriating.

Some days, it’s like I take two steps forward and three steps backwards.

I keep praying and asking God if any of this is at all relevant and at all a part of His plan. I don’t get the booming voice from above saying, “Yes, Dorienne. Stay the course.” so there’s that part of me that’s unsure whether some of this frustration is coming from some nagging voice telling me there’s something better I should be doing or if an “I quit” attitude is just so much easier than pushing and pushing.

I suppose the real frustration comes from knowing that I’m not quite sure what else I could do outside of write. When I look back on my childhood and adolescence, all I remember is storytelling. Verbal stories I would tell myself as a very young child and then putting those stories to paper as I reached the latter end of elementary school. From there, I started to write novels and even finished two of them before my eighteenth birthday. Writing is all I know. It’s who I am and to be so close to just touching my goal, only to sit and wonder what else I can do with my life if I fail is a little discouraging.

I haven’t any snippets of inspiration for myself today’s post. The sermon at church today was all about how frightening and hot hell is and while fear can motivate, it does little to inspire.

Maybe I just need to get some sleep…

 

Ongoing Thursday, April 12, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 7:50 pm
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This process has seen both good news and bad news.
The bad news is that I’ve seen myself ready to give up on this book at least twice in the last few weeks because of all this cutting. As annoyed as I am, I’ve got no one to blame but myself. I’m the one who rambled on about scenes longer than King or Tolkien and it’s my fault that I’ve got so much to cut.

The good news, however, is that my short term memory is just about shot. I’ve found that if I delete a large section, just start the re-write and take a quick break to do something else for a minute, when I come back to the novel, I’ve completely forgot what I’d just deleted and can just pick up from wherever I’d stopped. I have little attachment to whatever I’d deleted and I’ve been able to speed up this process a bit. Where it took me three days to edit just one chapter, I’m almost up to 2 chapter edits a day; it’s not great considering I’ve another 30 to go, but all progress is progress.

This last chapter I’ve finished ended at just over 6200 words, which is more bad news, but I’ve clipped more 40K words from the novel in 11 chapters, which is more good news.

Life in general seems intent on interrupting me from my writing; boy trouble; first-job stress; family issues. It never ends. Thank God I’ve got God to keep me upright and pushing until I reach the end.

Last week, I sang in the choir for the first time in a while and we sang a song who’s lyrics have been repeating this whole week. I’d add them here but I’ve already Tweeted them. The main thing is that even through this trying, trying time, I’m still okay.

I’m not sure if I’ll make my 4/30 deadline for completing this draft, but as I said numerous times last year, on I trek.

 

 
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