Saturday, January 11, 2014

WIP Marathon Check-in #6

Last check-in: Finished editing chapter 6 (15,800 words)

Currently: Finished editing chapter 7 (5900 words). Started re-writing chapter 8 (200 words). (Current word count = 21,900). Also, I figured out how to solve a sticky plot issue at the end of the last draft.

WIP Issues this week: This week has been less about dealing with issues and more about solving them. When I re-wrote my second chapter, I knew that I would have to re-write another scene to make it more believable.  I've only just begun the re-write, but I really like the change. It's more urgent and feels less like a set-up.

I also started writing/outlining the plot point at the end of the last draft. Basically, I needed to get my character to a certain city (within a day or two). This character doesn't know her way around the magical world, and she can't read in their language, so maps are out of the question. The character is living with someone who wouldn't want her to leave, so she'd have to work her way around him. What I figured out was a way to bring a third character back, so that this third character can help my protagonist. I'm really happy with this development, since this third character is an important confidante for my protagonist, and she doesn't get nearly enough screen time in the second half of the story. This solution allowed me to (very quickly) solve both problems.

What I learned this week in writing: You absolutely need a critique partner. Why? Because writing isn't about showing-off; it's about communicating. No matter how brilliant, unique, complex, and tightly-woven your plot, characters, world-building, and writing style are, you need to make sure that the stuff in your head is getting through to the reader. The "hints" you give aren't always as clear as you think they are.

So thanks, Ifeoma, for helping me figure out some stuff that wasn't getting through.

What distracted me this week while writing: Back to classes. Most of them are lectures this semester, so I don't have to attend a lot of class. (Our school records all lectures.) This means I can write in the mornings, when I'm most productive. I've started doing that this week. It's great for my writing progress and less great for my grades. (Also, I read Control and finished the first two seasons of Once Upon a Time. Don't make fun of me.)

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