Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Some Writerly Things.

Well, since I am most likely not going to Seattle - short of a miracle or an act of Congress - I might as well be productive. I'm still upset as hell over it, but there isn't much I can do, so...on to writerly things...

Between Brothers
cracked 50,000 words last night, but I don't think it's going to end at 60,000. If things keep going the way they are, it'll be more like 70,000, so the target on my word counter has been changed accordingly. The story is kind of developing a mind of its own, but it's working, so I'm going with it. A minor character magically appeared in one of the subplots, and now he's worked his way up to "significant character" status. Kind of screwed up my outline, seems to be working. I'll see where it goes.

You may have noticed that Camera Shy is back on the "works in progress" list. Or maybe you haven't, since word counters are mundane little things that exist only to make writers froth at the mouth and to appease people like me who have OCD. But anyway, in case you had noticed, you may have also noticed that it jumped from 0 to over 50,000 in a matter of hours. The reason for this is that I'm not actually rewriting the whole thing, I'm reorganizing the original story, modifying existing scenes/chapters, etc. So as a scene or chapter is fixed, its word count is added to the total. Once I'm done slashing and burning the existing story, I have about 12 new chapters waiting to be written.

In the end, I will probably have one of three things:
  1. A vastly improved and possibly marketable book.
  2. A turd that, no matter how much I've polished it, remains a turd.
  3. The smoldering remains of something that would have been a decent, possibly marketable story if I hadn't @#$%'ed with it.
It damn well better be #1.

They say that writers have to learn to "kill their darlings". In other words, sometimes you have to delete phrases, paragraphs, scenes, even whole chapters, no matter how much you absolutely love the phrase, paragraph, scene, or chapter in question. It's painful, but it must be done, because what matters is telling a good story, not getting all precious about your own prose.

With the changes I'm making to Camera Shy, I won't be killing darlings.

No, I will be committing Darling Genocide of biblical proportions. That's right: Biblical proportions.

I already had to nix three consecutive paragraphs that I really, really liked from one chaper, and half of a scene that I was too in love with for my own good. One entire chapter may go out the window in spite of my affection for it. *sob*

But, on the flip side, it's all opening the doors for some chapters that are going to be a lot of fun to write. (Besides *those* chapters...) So far I'm having tons of fun with it, which is surprising, considering that revising a novel usually falls somewhere between "removing my own toenails with pliers" and "cleaning the litter box" on the Grand Scale of Enjoyability.

Jason (the male main character, for those unfamiliar with the story) has already gotten back into his old habit of running off with scenes and doing whatever the hell he wants rather than what the outline commands. I usually have a basic plan for the scene, but Jason always does whatever Jason wants. Stubborn little shit. I guess I can't complain too much: Jason's scene-hijacking tangents almost always work better than my original plans. And if you're reading this paragraph wondering what kind of mind-altering substances I slipped into my own corn flakes this morning, then clearly you have never ventured into the psyche-bending universe that is novel writing. The characters run the show, not me. Jason just happens to be a bit more brazen about it.

So anyway- HEY!


I was going to write a few more paragraphs about this, but Jason's getting into mischief again, so I'd better go.

Jason, you bring that boat back here this instant and get back to the scene! We talked about this!


  1. As you know Bob, (*snerk*) I am very much looking forward to reading Between Brothers in its entirety, so GERRONWI' GERRIN' IT WRIT!

    That said, about CS - isn't Jason a naughty boy?

  2. lol ABOUT Jason. I just finished blogging about characters who don't listen and how my husband thinks I am insane. Good to know I am not alone.

  3. When I have to kill my darlings, I save the bits I really like in a word file and try to use them more appropriately in a later work. You probably do the same, because you're smart.

    CS is going to be freaking great when it's done, my dear. I think the changes you described to me are going to work so well. You'll see. It will roxxor your boxxor.

  4. Libbie - trust me, I save them. ;) I have LOADS of folders of darling corpses.

    As for CS, you rock. :D I'm probably going to wrap up Between Brothers in the next 2 days, so after that, it is on like Donkey Kong with Camera Shy.