Friday, March 21, 2008

A discovery about reorganizing

I continued work on Chapter 2 today. This chapter has always been a clunker, though I suppose I'll think the same thing about later chapters. But it's a draft, so I'm not kicking myself. It came out the way it needed to in order to find the end.

One of the characteristics of my drafts . . . I've always had trouble putting my finger on it. But today it came to me a little. They places where they get most dull is a long series of very brief events. Like a bird skimming along and just barely touching down, one episode after another. It's like X went here and next went there and next went back here. Each of those scenes is doing a little bit of something--not enough to be interesting but enough that I hesitate to cut them. I feel like I need something in what's being established at those points.

In Chapter 2 today I was able to gather up about 4 of them and make one single episode out of them. The balance is better. It eliminates the stop and go feel. It eliminates the repeated sensation of "so what?"

Probably this isn't a replicable strategy, but if there are other places where I have a lot of that skimming I'll be able to diagnose it and use this trick.

Boy, why is it necessary to learn how to write a novel at the same time I'm writing it. It really slows things down.

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