Monday, July 09, 2007

Slash and Burn

My word counter is no longer correct. But rather than update it and depress myself *g* I'll just let it sit there until I catch back up.

Yup, you heard me. Catch back up. Today I went on a slash-and-burn through chapter 7. But for good reason.

I've been in 7 for a few days now. That's the one I wanted to finish over the weekend but didn't quite manage to finish last night (Hi, Claire!). This is the meet-and-greet chapter, the welcome-to-your-new-home chapter. I wanted the reader to see and experience everything Elspeth was seeing as she made her way to Glenstrae. I researched. I pored through images on Google. I researched some more. And I wrote it all down. And it was boring.

I was having the hardest time moving forward with the chapter. And then a very helpful comment from Carol on my July X (which was based on part of 7) and the advice in this thread (both on Compuserve) metaphorically kicked me in the rear. I was struggling with 7 because nothing was happening. There was no tension. It was too much description and taking too long to move the plot forward.

I still wanted that level of detail, but I broke up the descriptions and scattered them throughout chapter 7 and backwards into chapter 6. Maybe I needed to write them all in one big chunk, but the reader doesn't need to get them that way. It also meant cutting a lot of extraneous wordage.

So I've been set back, but it's moving me forward in the long view. Chapter 7 is tighter (if shorter at the moment) and faster-paced and you know what? Once I cut all that stuff out inspiration kicked in and the part I was stalling on started to roll. Will I finish it tonight? Probably not, but as long as I'm at 57.5K by the end of the week I'll be happy.

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