Thursday, 13 June 2013

Just Cut it Short



Hey all,

Please do excuse any errors you might find in this post. I am writing it at three in the morning after realizing that it was in fact going to be Thursday, not Wednesday tomorrow (or today). I’ve been back at the writing, and my new apartment is, for the most part, in one piece now. I’d complained on Monday about not having any idea how to get through a particular scene. I was feeling like I was dumping too much information all at once and that it was getting a bit boring. The good news, and probably the focus of this post is how I got around that.

I’d had an issue earlier in the book, not the one that I was talking about on Monday, where a different chapter was dragging. The scenes were long and dull and things weren’t moving along at any sort of acceptable pace. I really didn’t want this to start happening again, and so I leapt into damage control mode long before it got to that point.

As a slight side note, I think that my work tends to drag when I don’t really know how to fix something, or when I don’t know how to really get to the next scene. I just end up trying to write my way out of the situation, but it just ends up being a larger quagmire of stagnating verbs. What really needs to happen is that I have to step back and take a long hard look at where it all went wrong, and why.

I did just that to the chapter I was working on over the weekend. Lo and behold, for the most part, I had begun to do the exact same thing—I was writing way too much. The information dump that I was throwing out there was really unnecessary. I was able to get across the exact same points in about a quarter the time (and word count) if I just rewrote the scenes. I had characters babbling on and on about the same thing, it wasn’t needed, their points were valid without the song and dance. Essentially, you don’t need to see a character be berated by three different people over the same thing, one after another. It was much easier, after the first argument, to just mention that it was repeated with character x and y later on, and that was why Daniel is feeling a certain way now. It brings everything in line, you know where everyone stands, but you don’t need to read the same thing over and over.

As soon as I figured that part out, everything else fell into place too. I was able to streamline the chapter and move on to a really, really exciting part that I’ve been looking forwards to writing for some time. It’s fun to be excited about something I’m working on, especially when, for a few weeks now, I’ve been a bit unsure about how the book’s been coming along. The first dreamstate was a bit quicker of a write for me, this one is a bit more challenging. The characters are a bit older and a bit more complex, as is their understanding of the dreamstate worlds. It takes me a little while longer to figure out how they’re going to react to things in a believable way. Hopefully, though, the end result will be worth the extra effort.

-Trevor

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