Friday, January 21, 2011

The Progress Bar 3

The end is in sight! It's almost scary, 44,203 words in and I am ready to begin the transition to act three. Just one more major conflict to get out of the way and I begin to ratchet things up, a step at a time to the climactic ending. With luck and a lot more hard work I can switch to my editing hat in three more weeks.

I had a surprise while writing this week. I'd planned out how a character would react in a situation which I knew was coming, but when I was actually writing in the moment, they exhibited a will of their own and refused to follow directions. If I hadn't heard from several sources that this kind of independent spirit was common, and in fact sought out by many authors in their characters I would be concerned. As it is I am happy, they have minds of their own and will behave in character, even when I try to push them in another direction.

The nice thing is, it doesn't even hurt the plot, if anything it makes things more interesting.

I had a major plot meltdown this week. Thinking back over what I'd written I began to feel that the manuscript had gone off the rails. It wasn't that it was bad per se, just the events were not relevant in the larger scheme of things. As always seems to happen with me I got frustrated, thought I would have to make cuts to bring things back on track, sat down and had a good long think over things and realized there was a simple and elegant answer which brought the larger plot back into focus during these sub-plots and introduced a new element to the larger plot which helped me setting up the transition to act 3.

I am burned out on writing though, I struggled to get 2,000 words today. I'm glad it's the weekend.

Oh, I almost forgot, one more bit of book news. I have decided to trim and edit an excerpt from the novel to make it an effective short-story for submission. We'll see how that goes, I have never tried to get a short published before.

And...the lady riding the ostrich? All will be revealed...or not.


Che Gilson said...

I'm at the approximate 70K mark myself and closing in on the climax. To get there I kipped a chunk in the middle though...


I often plan a lot of what I think my characters will say and inevitably when the time comes to right it it all comes out shorter than I imagined.

Mark Fenger said...

Thanks, I have to go back and backfill a few sections during the second draft as well. Nothing too huge it just has occurred to me at this point in the book that I glossed over some areas which are not terribly important to the plot but will help develop characters and set the scene.

When it's done I expect the final manuscript will weigh in between 80 and 85k.