Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Take Two

So this week's writing was a bit of a last minute thing, as I had to work and deal with teaching responsibilities over the weekend. But I think it worked out okay, at least at this stage in the process.

I went back and cut out all of the new exposition and character history that I'd added last week, since I felt it was the weakest part. I still feel that way, and wish I could figure out a way to let the pasts of these characters play out naturally, but they're not major characters in this story. Their story is something completely different; it could be a work of its own, really, and I don't want to get distracted from the goal here.

And I ended up adding some of it back in anyway, since the characters need some sort of touchpoint with the reader.

I've got a complete story that just needs fleshing out. If I get sidetracked with trying to tell the stories of every minor character who really only has a small, extremely limited part to play, I'll never get the main story completed. This isn't a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, it's a stupid horror/science fiction adventure. Nothing groundbreaking about it. I just want to get from point A to point B and make it an entertaining story.

I can always tell their story some other time. If they're that interesting to me, I'm sure I can always go back to them. Hell, I don't even know if I really want to tell their story. I just want the reader to feel for them when the bad stuff happens. And that's coming up quick.

I'm not sure about my pacing either. I have a natural feel for short story pacing. I've spent years writing stories where I cut out all the fat and just deliver focused, lean narratives. But this is different, isn't it? For a novel length work, shouldn't the pacing be a little slower, a little more exploratory? It's not a mode I'm comfortable in, but I should probably just work my way into it and see what I come up with. I can always cut back and reorganize later drafts if the need arises.

Anyway, there's week 3 of this experiment done. I don't know if anyone else is actually going to still be taking part in this by the end of next month. I hope they do. I don't want to keep boring the shit out of everyone, sending my pages off week after annoying week.


  1. I'm still in. I'm going to try for 10 pages next week to make up for my skipping this past Monday.

    I'm working on a short story this time around. My narrative doesn't seem all that lean to me. I feel like I'm doing a ton of exploratory rambling. When I'm done it will probably only be about 5 or 6 pages. I really need to build up my writing muscles.

  2. That's the same problem I'm having. I'm actually used to not worrying about exposition and just letting the story happen, but I'm trying to change that up this time, and it just feels off to me.