Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Write, write...all I do is write.

***NOTE:  Wrote the following throughout the course of yesterday.


I have a single goal today and this is to write the Parker house scene.

I'm going to try to write it fresh, without any reference to what I've already written.

So all I need is a trigger phrase, plus a few good ideas...

All day, just don't start until it comes.  Get to work subconscious!

Late Morning:

The plan right now is to write the Parker chapter, then the Barn Chapter.  That should be hopefully the rough version of the final form.  (I'm learning never to say final...)

Set it aside while I work for a couple of days -- do chores and bills on Friday.  Then on Saturday thru Tuesday do a rewrite -- I want to pick up Mira Grant's zombie book to get an idea of how she does first person.  And pick up Walking Dead novel for examples of graphic words and descriptions of gun battles.

Then set it aside for the two days of work.  Following week, do another rewrite -- straight through.

Then try to find a reader for that draft who can give me an idea of how close I'm coming.  The question I'll be asking is -- where did you lose interest?

Early Afternoon:

I've been asking myself questions about the Parker house scene.  This has been the hardest scene in the entire book to rewrite and I've been putting it off...so now it's nearly the last thing I do on this draft.

I think it has to be split in two -- the first part is much like what I've already written -- except with the addition of Chloe.  I'll have to tone down the lovey-dovey stuff between Parsons and Sandra, but maybe have a hint of it, so that when Harvey come into the scene it gets all messy.

I'll have Cobb straight out tell them what's happening, and Sandra will believe him, but Harvey won't and he'll give an ultimatum; if she goes with Cobb (and Parsons) don't come back.  He pulls Chloe away, who is crying by now.

A tough scene to write.

Middle Afternoon:

Wow.  This was a more important scene than I thought.

But there is enough spillover, I think, to make the diner scene that follows work better.  More of the interaction between Sandra and Parsons, more of the explanation of how the three worlds differ.

In fact, I think I also need to also rewrite the diner scene also without reference to the manuscript.

Late Afternoon:

O.K.  I wrote the most important part of the scene at the Parker house.  It's a lot of back and forth, so it's a bit drama drenched and possibly confusing.  But, again, it's a placemarker for when I'm ready to do the next draft.

Took me four hours.

Now I'm going to try to consolidate the scene.

Then, since I think I'll have all evening; I'll try to write the diner scene.  It's kind of laying all the cards out on the table, about 40% of the way through the book.

In the original drafts I tried to build suspense by having Cobb slowly coming around to the danger, but I don't think that worked and it was pretty annoying and redundant.  Better to just lay it all out there as soon as he knows anything.

Early Evening:

All right!

Did the Parker house scene, and then followed by cutting most of the diner scene and replacing much of it with what I cut form the original Parker house scene.

I think it works.

One of the biggest things I did in this draft is cut out all the expository -- hopefully, it's understandable without it.

For the final rough draft, all I can think that I have left to write is the Barn battle.

Also, the confrontation between Harvey and Sandra at the bank about their daughter Chloe being missing.

But by the end of tomorrow, I'll have a rough draft.

I think it's a bit weak in the middle, now.  What with the Lillian flashback chapters.  Maybe I need to put Lovecraft earlier in the story.

It needs to be worked on, obviously.

Currently at 93,000 words.  Figure another 3000 words for the battle of the barn -- maybe consolidate the two battles at the portals?  Maybe not?

So, we're almost there.

Late Night:

Lots of tone inconsistencies, which I'll only be able to catch by actually reading the damn thing.  Which means, I think, trying to read it in one day.  Maybe with the help of booze; just dive into the thing and read it from beginning to end.

A polished version of this draft is pretty much what I would have sent off in the old days: the second level book, as I've begun to term it.

I'm now assuming that there is another level I can reach.  So I want to finish this draft, then set it aside again and try to think about how to reach that next level.

At worse, I waste a few months not getting anywhere.

At best, I do come up with a turbo boost that makes it that much better.


H. Bruce Miller said...

Here's an idea: You turn all your blog posts about writing the novel into a novel about writing a novel.

H. Bruce Miller said...

I've signed up to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I'm supposed to write a 50,000-word novel by the end of November. It should be a good exercise.

Duncan McGeary said...

Welcome to the club! ;)

(By the way, have you finished reading mine yet? If you can't finish it, just bring it back...)

Anyway, having just had a very intensive period of writing, it's very difficult to see how a legit novel can be written in a month.

I mean, people can write something 50K words long and call it a novel, I suppose.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I mean, people can write something 50K words long and call it a novel, I suppose."

That's my plan.