Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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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Bookends, Pt. II

Felt like someone hit me with a baseball bat last night as I realized how much power the bookends control – if I get it right.

Before this morning I knew I was close, but I also knew I needed something extra to really bring it home. This morning I found what I was looking for, a way to juxtapose my peace with the continuing turmoil.

We’ll see if it does the job.

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Just about time to tie the whole thing together. I’ll refresh my bookends as there are a couple of things I want to add to heighten the overall impact.

I’m still not very happy with the Pierrepont section – too much gloom. Ironic considering I always thought of Pierrepont as a bit of Animal House. Now I see just how far removed from reality I’d become.

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Doing some rough editing of the final two chapters at present. Last night I decided moving some stuff out of the second to last chapter was the right thing to do. Today I did the move, then chopped it down from a page to a paragraph. When I read the result, I got chills. Interesting…

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Dancin’ Days

Dancin’ Days – Spring 1983, the second to last chapter (as of this moment). Getting closer and closer to the final page.

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Gutting and Cutting

I decided to slice and dice things a bit. I knew I had some rearranging to do, but when I took a look at the end result I wasn’t happy with it. So I gutted an entire chapter and moved a couple of the main elements to where they belonged. Took out some info I didn’t have a rock-solid clear memory of, and changed the tone of the rest to more closely match what it was really like for me at the time. I’m not done yet, but the changes are very pleasing.

And as a bonus, the word count went down by about a thousand words.

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I’ve got the end of the book in sight, I’m trucking along quite nicely, but all the while I have this nagging feeling that something isn’t going quite as well as I’m thinking. And then it hits – the time line is off. I’m thinking how bad?

So I go back to my notes and letters to see where I screwed up. At first it looks bad, really bad – chapters are going to get rearranged at best. More likely they’ll be gutted altogether, leaving me with a bunch of bits and pieces to fit together.

On closer inspection, though, the situation doesn’t look so dire. Something I thought happened in January 1983 actually happened in December 1982, and something I thought happened in February 1983 happened in mid-March 1983. One event that I thought happened over Christmas ’82 didn’t happen until Easter 1983, or else I’ve lost my mind.

I’m sure there are a few other minor details. I’ll just have to bite the bullet and fix them.

Happy happy joy joy.

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Voices from the past

When I started writing Over the Hills and Far Away, I presumed everyone I knew put as much distance between them and the schools as I had, and that over time people changed and went their separate ways never to look back. I’ve been surprised and humbled at just how wrong I’d been.

Over the years I’ve heard from most of the people I knew at the time, all with very positive comments about those days and not a hint of hesitation in answering my questions, even if I pressed. I am truly thankful for the encouragement and support I’ve received.

I try to update the website with *something* at least once a month and, as I wind down this particular project and move onto others, I will change the site’s focus accordingly though I’m sure it will return to OTHAFA once the screenplay is completed. 😉

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