Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Ready, Set, Action!
I printed out all 278 pages of my draft, 12pt Font, Times New Roman. Double-spaced. I'm enjoying going through it with a purple pen and post-it notes, marking up things that are awkward or unnecessary. Much of chapter six, I realized, was awkward and unnecessary, so today I rewrote it.
There wasn't much action. Except for a paragraph that concludes the chapter, I could delete the whole thing and the story wouldn't miss a beat. In the previous version of the chapter, I had my protagonist feel threatened and scared by someone--a stranger. I was trying to develop her character, showing how vulnerable she felt even when it wasn't warranted. All the excitement was in her head.
But how much more exciting would the chapter be if instead of merely feeling threatened, she is actually threatened? Her fear is legitimate. She is vulnerable. I still get to develop her character by how she reacts to the fear and threat but, I think, it becomes a much stronger chapter.
Even though I started with a rough outline, I wasn't sure where I was going each page. I think I was afraid to write anything that might distract me from the larger story. But now that the larger story is finished, I'm psyched to return to individual pages and chapters and improve them.