Thursday, August 12, 2010

WIP Diary: Fitting In

This is not a post about the Hunger Games or Catching Fire*.

So now that I've figured out the proper heart of my story, I've had to go back through and try to find places for a couple of much-needed scenes that will show the reader what to want for Eddy and also (I dearly hope and desire) move the story toward the climax and bring about the proper ending.

The problem is, this is--by my writing standards anyway--a bloody big book. And it's not even finished yet. We are at 372 pages at the moment, nearing 94,000 words. It is.....difficult to keep every one of 94,000 words straight in one's head. Very hard to remember who said what to whom and where and when and who else was there when it was said and how whosis reacted.

I've outlined the story on a calendar, a trick I learned from my FSG editor, who made me account for the whereabouts of the MC in Funny How Things Change on a day-to-day basis. So in anticipation of having to do that again, I figured it would just be easier to keep track from the start and it has saved me countless hours of rooting back through the ms trying to find what happened when.

And of course, HOSvision is a big help.

This is always one of the hardest things for me, to reimagine what is already there. To take scenes that already exist and alter them, imagine them happening in a different way, in this case, allowing Eddy to have meaningful conversations with this guy. So I have to move everyone around in different ways and try to bring this guy into a scene where he didn't exist before.

And the problem with that--for a linear writer in particular, someone who starts at the beginning and writes the story sort of "as it happens--is that you get this sense that the story is "flowing" and going back in and monkeying with it interrupts that flow. What Eddy says here at the end of this scene moves her into the kitchen where she has a scene with this person and that's very important. If I try to put in another scene with this guy, I lose the point of the last thing she said over there that moved her over here. So sometimes it's hard to let go of what's there and try to get it all flowing again.

And then there's always a little line or something that gets messed up by the addition that I'm thinking "Oh no! I really LIKE that! It works so well! I can't lose that!" Or something. Or I just can't make myself see it in any other way. It's like trying to reshape a clay sculpture after it's been fired. You have to get out the chisel.

Not to mention, then you have to go all through the rest of the thing and see if there are going to be any repercussions--even slight ones--to adding that scene. Because see, she was really mad at this guy and that carried through something like fifteen chapters. But if they have this talk, then I have to go through and take out all of the little bits where she sniffed and turned up her nose whenever he walked by.

But anyway, I think I have actually found two spots in this ms where I can see a conversation happening. So now I'm going to go see if they will.

*Heh heh. I discovered that my blog gets a ton more hits if I mention any of those titles.

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