Thursday, May 26, 2011

making it work

here's how I think I solved a problem chapter (I say think because I haven't heard back from my crit partner on it yet...).

What I had was a three page prologue that I really liked except for two things. One it was a dream and we all know what a no no it is to start off with a dream. The second was that altho it mentioned the mc's name it wasn't about the mc and I felt pretty strongly about starting out with my main character.

So I decided to try to merge the prologue with ch4, which had too much telling about how things were, how they got that way, and what happened before, blah, blah, blah. But then it got all jumbled together (read: chaos) so in order to figure out what needed to stay and what didn't, I made a list of everything that happens:

1.remembers Castle Serilde/happiness
2.sees things as they are now
3.wonders why he has suddenly noticed
4.what's going on
5.why has Zhora's hold loosened
6.notices signs of travel; the car
7.remembers that day

I stared at that list and my screen for a long time before finally giving up and playing a few fruitless games of spider solitaire. Then I came back to it last night and changed the dream to a memory, and incorporated #7, (which is what my friend Carol likes to call 'an inciting incident.'), like so:
    " I remember the way it began, so perfectly with cloudless blue skies and a light breeze off the bay. It was hot, sticky hot, but we didn’t care, we had been given permission to go sail and though I knew next to nothing about boats Collis assured me he knew enough for two and off we went."

After that scene I jumped straight to the present (using #3-6) and ended with a realization. I cut the first two because I can use #1s description at a later point and I don't need #2 since he's about to leave so who cares what it looks like. right?

Interesting how we work things out, eh?

ps the sun came out here today. It was glorious.


  1. And you still kept the essence of the scene - good stuff!

  2. The Muse strikes all of us in different ways and times. This is a great example of recognizing when it hits and how to use it.

    BTW, did playing Spider Solitarie have anything to do with it?
    *snicker, snort, BWHAHAHAHA*

  3. Yay for the sun coming out too!!! Take care

  4. Glad you worked it out. I just spent nearly a week stuck on a scene I couldn't get right. Finally got the wheels out of the mud two days ago. Freedom!

  5. Good for you! I'm still waffling with my first chapter for the same reasons you listed. Dreams. But the whole book is about her dreams, sort of.

    I take it out. I put it back. I take it out...I hope I eventually reach that light bulb moment when it works out right.

  6. It is amazing the way we work things out when we AREN'T writing. Sometimes you just need to step away and let things simmer. Good luck!


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