Thursday, 8 May 2014

Reading for Work

Hey all,

It’s been a good few days for me. I’ve been slowly recovering from running that half-marathon. My joints are still a bit tender, but for the most part I’m back in the gym and having a fun time lifting. The weather evened out as well—it stopped switching between pouring rain and too hot for comfort. Everything has gone back to that friendly Pacific Northwest grey.

My writing has been going quite well too. I’ve finally moved past the point in Dreamstate II where I’m ripping out huge sections of text and replacing it with something else. There were one or two points that I was trying to work on at the start of the week that I just could not figure out. I actually spent most of my Monday quite frustrated with how the rewrites were just not working. I knew these were crucial scenes, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t make them fit the way that I wanted. I finally decided that they probably didn’t belong exactly where I had them and that in order to figure it out I really needed to sit back and read the whole book.

I’ve been reading Dreamstate II as bits and pieces for about a year now. This is exactly what you need to do when you have a rough concept of the story arc, but are trying to fix individual scenes. I knew sort of where everything fit, but it wasn’t an exact science—I hadn’t actually read the whole book as a single entity yet. Generally what I get out of reading the book is that it makes it easier to do all of my grammar sweeps (because I need to go through all of the text anyways) and it gives me a better grasp of the plot arc. I can see where the story lags and where it really works. I can also see where things start to wander, what doesn’t quite connect, and how things change from the start of the book to the end. I already have a few pages of notes of things that I’d mentioned early on that never end up connecting with anything later—they’re cool and kind of crucial moments in the story, but they slowly fizzle out (I want to avoid this).  

Considering the length of the story there are actually quite few things that I’ve stumbled across that I want to make different. I think I did a pretty good job (thank you journals) at keeping track of everything that I was doing. The worst thing that I’ve done is shift the focus from one group to another as the story progresses without an real reason other than I didn’t think the first people were all that important anymore. If I bring them back, the story will smooth itself out and I will be quite the happy author.


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