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Archive for October, 2010

Could it be?

Could it be I’m really nearing the end this time?

I have completed rewriting one of two Alaska chapters, in rough draft only at the moment, and I think I’ve done it. I managed to refocus the story perfectly.

As a bonus, I didnt’ lose words along the way even if I lost concepts and scenes – I found new material to use that actually worked better than the original.

And now I think I’ve figured out the second of the Alaska chapters that not only allows me to use an existing chunk of detail I was about to cut (I have to cut it down some but that’s a good thing) but really drives home the main points I was trying to make.

There are a couple of other changes in the main text I still have to take care of, but they will link back to the Alaska chapters and help thread things together. Outstanding.

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Slicing and dicing

I’ve decided to tear the Alaska chapter to shreds and start over. Why? It’s just too critical a chapter to leave it to the minor edits I had going.

I thought I knew what I needed to do with it and thought I’d fixed it. But when I reviewed it I was not happy at all. So I stepped back, put things into perspective, and asked myself what was so critical about this chapter that I wasn’t getting? The answer has since come to me – I know what the layout needs to be but I have yet to find all the words. At the moment, words are coming in dribs and drabs, and not all of them are any good. I’ve managed only to get the opening of the chapter down and now have hit a wall.

Maybe tomorrow will be better, or even later tonight. Too much on my mind to worry about it right at this moment.

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Thanks, James, for nudging me with your wisdom – it’s always a pleasure to hear you speak. My latest efforts have taken an interesting turn (though I have yet to write a single word). I struggled with finding a way forward that would have speaking out of both sides of the mouth make sense. I think I’ve found that way, so cheers and all the best.

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I’ve decided to split Chapter 1 into two chapters (at least for now) and rewrite the second half. I wasn’t happy with the level of detail and the emphasis on a particular aspect of the story and lack of detail on another, equally important one. The writing is also currently inconsistent with the rest of the book, so some rewriting is necessary.

Now, what to keep, what to cut, and what to add? I’ve got a few ideas. Hope to have the new draft by Monday. We’ll see…

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Some cleanup

Working the first chapter a little – taking out some unnecessary detail as it seems too busy. One particular scene will be refreshed and augmented to bring out its impact – after all, it is the catalyst of the story. 😉

Also resequencing some character introductions as some are abrupt and lack context which makes them thin and less important than they really are.

I don’t see anything difficult about this section so I’m off to make the changes.

Edit: funny how things change. I started with a clear vision, and ended with clarity enough to go back and change things. LOL.

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Starting at the front of the manuscript making ever smaller changes mostly for clarification. This should be a very rapid edit as I’m looking for technical issues rather than content issues (though I did make one content change this afternoon, with permission).

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nearing the end

A small update. I reworked Soho 1 and the following chapter to draw out some detail. Am very pleased with the result. I’m also adding character detail which is proving interesting.

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It never ceases to amaze me how changing the order of things and rewriting accordingly can make such a dramatic difference to a piece. Right now I’ve resequenced the beginning of the Pierrepont section, pulling forward a few details from later on and filling in with finer detail. What had been a series of events connected only by context now flows as a story. Makes the writing so much easier when that happens.

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Upon review, it seems there are two issues with the Pierrepont section. Parts of it need to be resequenced and/or split off on their own, and some stuff needs to be focused on more closely.

Part of the problem is that my reaction to certain events is atypical, at least as I’ve been told. I’ve had one reader ask me about a certain person that seemed to be important but then vanished. “Surely she’d remain in your thoughts.” I had to think about that because she was right – the person was important and yet, once she disappears from sight I don’t ever mention her again. I’m having that same issue now much later on only with more people. Weird. Oh well…

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Once again I thought I might have the story done only to find I’m unhappy with how the Pierrepont section flows. There are some really good bits, and a lot of the story comes through fine, but there’s also extra crap and muddled imagery creating sour notes taking away from the overall piece.

I know what needs to be done, so I’m off to tear away the scabs again. Ugh…

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