Thursday, November 09, 2006

Finding the gas pedal

I've added a link to a new novel-excerpt site, created because the NaNo excerpt thing really sucks. It eliminates certain punctuation entirely, and makes it very difficult to do legitimate paragraph breaks. It's in the links section of the sidebar, and I've posted Chapters One and Two for anyone who wants to take a gander. Comments are welcome, but please try to be mostly nice for a bit, as I'm still getting my legs under me.

Keep in mind that this is a Very First Draft, with all that that entails. I am aware that it is riddled with typographical errors, and at least a couple of plot inconsistencies. And that Chapter One is woefully underdeveloped. There are plenty of places where the bones lack meat, and there are also chunks of meat that don't attach to the skeleton. But I thought some of you might like to read it anyway, crap or no. I have no plans at this time to post any more of the first draft.

I spent a good part of Wednesday trying to figure out how I might move forward with my novel. I seemed to have written myself into a blind alley, and in the process of feeling my way out of it, had started to doubt whether I would even continue with this particular book, or switch to writing something else entirely.

And then I got out of my house for a while. I had dinner with my friend Craig. I figured he would ask how NaNoWriMo was going, and had planned to say "Not well, and I'd rather not talk about it."

Instead I ended up explaining the problem I was having, which required me to explain the book I was writing. Craig had read the excerpt I posted to my official NaNo page, but found it confusing. He didn't know anything about the characters, since I had only posted a dialogue-heavy piece with virtually no additional information.

But once I outlined it a little, he seemed intrigued. I chewed over some plot problems out loud, and he was very encouraging. Some of it seemed to clarify on its own just due to explaining what I had in mind for certain characters or situations.

When I got home, I emailed Craig a draft of what I had written so far. While I was waiting for him to call me back after reading it, I read it myself, and suddenly could see that by moving a couple of things around and removing a couple of sections, I could be back on track to where I wanted to be. I excitedly outlined what I planned to change to Craig, who thought it all sounded good.

I recall a conversation with Craig from a couple of years ago where he (inadvertently, I think) completely unraveled a novel I had wanted to play with at the time with just a couple of questions I couldn't answer. So getting positive feedback, and having answers to the questions he had this time actually helped me a lot.

Unfortunately, I ended up cutting two rather large sections, and my word count had fallen by about 1,500 words when I started writing new material shortly before midnight. Before too long, though, I found myself cracking the 6,000 word mark, with plenty of ideas to keep me busy tomorrow.

1 comment:

CC2383 said...

Good job! I really enjoyed the first two chapters. I can't wait to see who is going to die, or get a horrible disease... oh wait it's not an Oprah book. darn. Can't wait to read more when you are finished.