Friday, August 17, 2012

Chasing the Clock


I went to bed last night with that WHY word bouncing around in my head. As you know, I do that often--ask why after every sentence I write. Sometimes it helps; often it frustrates.

I’ve been holed up with an old unfinished manuscript, trying to breathe new life into it for a specific market. Easier said than done. Sometimes I think writing something new is easier than taking a piece apart and reconstructing it. In this case I’m cutting what was originally an incomplete Christmas novel to 15,000 words--yes, a Christmas story. I don’t think I had enough plot for a novel anyway. The deadline is Saturday. Yes, gulp with me: the deadline is Aug. 18th, tomorrow, and I’m not finished!

Here’s what I’ve done:
Taken a look at how I’ve introduced the characters. I’ve introduced two characters and the problem on the first page. Unfortunately, the hero is not one of those two.

I’ve tried to break it into a 3-act structure to get a better handle on it. This seemed hard; should have been easier since I had the book outlined.

I’ve pinpointed the setting and trying, TRYING to make it apparent throughout the story. I’m terrible at creating setting.

I’ve cut all the subplots, and made the plot more linear. No flashbacks either.

I’ve taken a look at my characters and, where I can do it, combined two into one. Double duty.

Layering that counts.

I’m trying to make every word count. (That should be a given, right?)

I have 14,188 words and still haven’t written the ending. I visualize at least four more scenes. Aaack! I see more cutting ahead.
Goal today: Cut. Write tighter. Finish.

Will I make the deadline? Doubtful, but at least I’m writing. Advice and writing tips welcome!


5 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Having a lot of trouble myself right now. Probably advice from me wouldn't be much help. Good luck, though.

Jan Rider Newman said...

I hope you had a productive day!

Lexa Cain said...

Good luck on writing and cutting, Jess. I hate deadlines, but on the other hand, they sure make me actually do things. :-)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Cutting is so difficult. good luck.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Charles, thanks.

Jan, not as productive as I'd hoped.

Lexa, I'd get nothing done without a deadline. NOTHING! :)

Susan, I'm better at cutting one word at a time than I am adding words. Figure that one out. Seems it should be the other way around. :)