Thursday, August 10, 2006

Writing is what happens...

...when you're busy making other plans.

At least, for me it is. So far all the work I have done on this book has happened when I did not plan to write. I was just doing something else, thinking about the book in the back of my head, and WHAM! a scene starts forming. Pretty soon I have some lines in my head, and I sit down to jot them down quickly so as not to lose them and for future work. Next thing I know, it's an hour later and I have 300-1,000 words on the page.

The first time that happened, I didn't even know the plot of the book. But as I wrote the scene, ideas just flowed and now I have about 1,500 words of that scene, with large missing bits to be filled in by research, and the majority of the book's plot. So woo. I guess this is something I'm really supposed to be doing now.

The most recent example was Monday. Mulling the comments from my foray on Evil Editor's blog, but very busy at work and not intending to actually write anything that day, I ended up tripling my opening scene to almost 700 words, and throwing in a 350 word scene that deals with Elspeth's feelings about her unusual name.

I ended up posting the first 200 words of the new opening to the comments of my first clip. I have gotten these responses so far:

Frainstorm said...
Well, I hate to say this, but I think your earlier
opening worked better. At least the very beginning.I read through the last time,
but had no new comments to add.This time, I just don't believe the conversation
could happen this way. Her character seems like she would be devastated by the
news. I found it more believable the first time when she felt numb. I took it
that she just set the phone down and let Doug ramble on or eventually hang
up.This time, her conversation seems to belie the event that just
occurred.Especially difficult for me was the 2nd sentence of the 2nd paragraph,
where Elspeth essentially summarizes everything Doug must have told her. Uh-uh.
She'd be screaming obscentiies, I would think.I should add, however, that I'm
out of genre with my critique here so base on it what you'd like.Good luck.John

beeyacht said...
I agree, this doesn't work
better. I don't know what comes next, but I'd believe if she said, "We're not
doing this over the phone. I'm coming over." Then she hangs up, grabs her gun,
clips the silencer on it and jumps in her car.
4:20 PM

bonniers said...
I like the second one much better. It's
not perfect,but at least she's doing something and pulling us right into the
scene. I would keep reading.
4:28 PM

Nut said...
I do like the name.Elspeth's
feelings are clear. She's obviously hurt (searing pain, etc) and trying to
control her self (knuckles turning white with the effort not to throw it across
the room). Looks good to me. Both versions. Just tell me, that she isn't going
back in time, to get the jerk back.
7:33 PM

So I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. It's still in pretty rough form. There has been mention of an openings workshop on the Forum that I will probably participate in, and see what the people over there say.

And so, back once again to my day job. I'm planning on finishing the fiction series I bought as escape/research and doing some actual historical research before I continue writing, because I need some actual data/time setting/place names/character names or I'm going to have more []'s than words.

We'll see if that actually happens, of if I spend the afternoon writing another scene that won't go away...

1 comment:

Shaylin said...

I like the new opening (I dug around EE to find it). My only recommendation would be to move the exposition out of quotation marks. An aside to the reader, explaining what Doug is apologizing for seems to me like it would work better than having Elspeth say it all.