I'm an open air girl...so as a "treat" when my husband was off this week and the kids were in school, we packed up the dog and drove a mere 10 minutes away to a local provincial park. The roads within are paved, but right now it's completely gated. Walkers park their vehicles outside the gates and enjoy the park without worrying about cars and crowds. We saw one vehicle and no people on our walk. We did see lots of birds and squirrels. And the lake is gorgeous right now.
And yes… I am still doing revisions; although they should really be called ‘the first draft of the end of the book’. All the changing of conflict and motivation has rendered the first ending (or rather the whole second part) pretty much useless. I am hoping to salvage a pretty hot love scene just before the black moment but as I must learn to kill my babies to make a better book it could still be for the chop!
And these revisions are teaching me a lot. A WHOLE LOT! More than I ever thought I would learn. New insights into structure, pace and conflict are happening every time I open the file and get down to it. Now that I have stopped trying to polish everything and am now digging deep to make this story the best it can be I realise how flimsy the original draft was. So thin if it were on paper it would be tracing paper and you could see right through it.
In terms of structure I have been reading Blake Snyder’s ‘Save The Cat’ and ‘Save The Cat Goes To The Movies’. I heard him speak at the RWA Nationals and was keen to read the book that went with it. Ok so it is about screenwriting rather than novel writing but what it deals with is the structure of telling a story. And man do I need to learn how to do that! It also discusses it in terms of movies which I find easier to deal with sometimes than books. I know that sounds odd but it just works that way at the moment. It seems to have pointed out to me that I have missed a few key ingredients out or have them in the wrong place.
Ahhh and the joy that is conflict!! Now it would have been easier to revise this… this…
b) Get that down on paper
c) Weave it through the whole book
It has been a headache of monumental proportions, even more tricky for me than the structure. If I was feeling richer I would have thrown my Mac out the window on numerous occasions! But I think I now have the conflict articulated and most of it is on paper it is just the weaving bit that is outstanding.
All in all this past month has been one of taking a step back, going back to basics and working on the fundamentals. I have seen the path in front of me stretch even further into the clouds; it is much longer than I thought this time last year when I had hit my first milestone of finishing a draft. But all the ups and downs have made me realise that every little step forwards and every huge stumble backwards is making me a better writer.