Monday, September 17, 2007

What I'm reading: Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

What I'm writing: Chapter 17

It's been almost a week since my last post. I wish I had a week's worth of news. Sometimes life just plods along. I spent a good portion of the week plotting and writing. I wrote over 9,000 words, which is a good pace for me, but then I had one of those days when you work all day and end up with the same word count you started with.

I'd written one of those brilliant scenes, where the characters talk and the words flow from the fingertips. The only problem is, the next morning, although the writing is still looking good – there's really no need for the scene. I have to ask myself, "Does it move the plot forward?" "Are there enough plot points to justify the scene?" I'm reminded of Roxanne St. Claire's workshop where she discussed recognizing scenes that need resuscitation versus those that have flat-lined.

I hate to throw things away. My closets are full of "you never know when that will come in handy" items. Or, "I paid good money for that, so I can't possibly throw it away." It's not that much different for my words. I keep a "cuts" folder in my computer where all these words can stay, and maybe someday they'll be brought out, dusted off, and find a new home.

When I start moving things around, the challenge becomes making sure the continuity doesn't fall apart. Like with my car problem. On a re-read, I discovered I had both my characters at Sarah's shop, each with their own vehicle. However, when they left, they were both in Randy's truck. Sarah would never have left her car at the shop, so I had to decide how to cover the information they'd shared and the mood I'd set, yet give them their own cars. Another writing mentor, Sandra McDonald recommended rewriting -- no copy and paste. Start from scratch, with only a hard copy for reference. I've tried, but I admit failure. If I've already typed the words, I don't want to type them again. Seems kind of a waste of this computer technology.

Or perhaps the scene was written in the wrong POV, and I've rewritten it. In that case, I have to make sure I haven't left any of those POV 'tells' in the wrong character's head. Which reminds me that I'm giving a workshop on POV next month. I need to work on that!

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