So, fun fact. I got horribly, horribly stuck in Act 2 of this draft of Ten. Not for your usual reasons of hitting writer’s block, I knew what was coming next, I was just having difficult slogging through a fight scene to get to my mid-point. And once I get stuck like that, I start thinking about the earlier parts of the book, which as I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I was having to revamp part of the first part of Act 2 to remove a character and bring the problem more the focus. And that made me think of the beginning, which wasn’t very actiony at all.
This revelation happened so conveniently close to NaNoWriMo. So yep. I’m scrapping what I have and starting over…sort of. I’m going to pull bits and pieces from the first draft, because I like them and see no need to rewrite them, but for the most part, I’m starting from scratch, revamping my old plot a little to fix the front… I still need to plot the second half of Act 2, but I’ll get there! So hopefully by the end of NaNoWriMo, I’ll have a complete second draft (which is the first complete draft), which will need a few edits around Christmas time once it’s had a chance to set, and it’ll be ready for an agent (and I’ll be much happier for it).
Now, with me doing NaNo, my free time is shot. But never fear! If you venture to the Star Stable Diaries landing page (or hover over it on the menu and click on the Diary Entries), you’ll see we’ve started breaking those up into smaller bite-sized sections (usually four or so) about the same size of our normal blog posts. So while there won’t be any reviews or random thinking, there will be part of the next diary entry every day, starting Monday next week. (Yes, I finally finished it.) So enjoy those, and I will be back with reviews and such in December.
Just in time for Christmas reviews, wee! (Because until after Turkey Day, don’t talk Christmas with me.)
Leave a comment | tags: Caley, NaNoWriMo, star stable diaries, Sun's Guard, Ten | posted in News
So, here’s a new sort of thing… I’m talking my personal writing here, for those who care. It’s been a crazy time, with the move and changing from being a student to a full-time (if temp) job. I had a hard time finding the energy to write.
But then Thanksgiving break happened. I don’t know why my brain suddenly went, “Dude, dude, we should WRITE!” but it did. I pushed through the entire first act/arc at last. And then this last weekend, I’ve not only gotten all of the second act plotted, but I’ve got bits and pieces of the rest now figured in my head. Not to mention all the stuff that has to happen in later books because of time reasons that I’ve come up with. I think Caley’s series is working out to be a fun project. If I can’t get it to sell, I might publish them on Kindle.
Part of what I think is making this so much fun to write is every time I come up with an idea, I figure out a place where it can go. Everything is sticking to the walls, and I have enough story that it isn’t going to be rushed by doing it this way. I’m not even limited by age demographic as much as I normally am. Mind, there is a very clear dividing line where I go, “Okay, twelve through fourteen is now iffy for appropriateness,” and I’m keeping all the adult ideas on a list to do if this series works out well. It’s just…what I can come up with and making it all work. It’s exciting instead of editing myself, going, “Nooo, that’s silly, or inappropriate or just WEIRD.”
The big thing I’m doing different is how I’m doing my plotting. For the future books, I have…one paragraph. Maybe two, if I’ve just been exploding with ideas (which I have for the second and third). It’s really just the very basics: what’s my A plot, what’s my B plot, who are my villains, little ideas that I need to get written down SOMEWHERE so I don’t forget them… That’s it. For the book I’m currently on, besides my paragraph, I’m also plotting by arcs within acts, which is so different from what I normally do, but I’m liking it.
Explanation on what that last bit means: rather than plotting the WHOLE book out, chapter by chapter, I instead break the book into three acts: first, second, and third. First act is all set up for the novel, what the situation is before God (a.k.a. you the writer) throws a monkey wrench into everything. Third is the ending, the climax of the novel and the wrap up, which you want the wrap up to be as short as possible. The second is, put simply, everything in between. But an act is not the same thing as an arc. Why? Because of that silly second act. It actually has a mid-point, a turning point in the plot where things go weird, which divides it in half. So when I plot by acts, I have three…but by arc, I have four.
It forces me to stay with Caley and what her immediate goals are. It’s weird, because I only sort of know what’s going on in the third arc. (I used to not know what was going on in the ending either, but idea explosion and yeah.) Normally, I know down to the detail what happens in the book. But that’s the problem. I’m either so obsessed with my details or the overall picture, I don’t stay with the main protagonist and the scenes become…muddled. It’s easier this time, I think, even with a character like Caley.
Oh lord, Caley. I had to completely scrap one start to this book because she rubbed my proofreader the wrong way. It wasn’t necessarily her personality, but the way I was writing her. I wasn’t letting the reader get to know her under the bad attitude before I threw her worst behavior at them. So making sure I don’t throw my proofreader off again is going to be a continuing challenge, I think. Caley is very much her own person, so I have to handle her in situations the right way or she might go complete antagonist on me and that is not the plan. But she is well balanced by the unicorns… (Yes, there are unicorns. It is amazing.)
So there is where I’m at with my book! Hopefully the writing continues to flow so I can get it out there for you all to enjoy.
Leave a comment | tags: act, arc, book, Caley, characters, details, fantasy, female, female characters, fiction, Guard, middle, middle reader, plot, reader, romance, series, Sun, Sun Guard, teen, Ten, unicorn, urban fantasy, writing | posted in RPG and Writing Tips, Writing