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Archive for January 16th, 2009

I’ve just reached the 60,000 word mark (60,085 if you’re interested)for the new manuscript and although my goal was to be done today, I’m not, nor am I going to be.  And I’m not going to  beat myself up about it. I wrote  those 60,000 words in about a month, not bad if I do say so myself considering the whirlwind that is my life. I also estimated this draft would be about 40,000 words. You see I’m only sketching the plot out. I planned to add some of the details backgrounds, etc in the next draft… obviously I was off by at least 20,000 words and my new estimate is that this rough draft will hit 65-70,000 before I break it down and start shaping it chapter by chapter, line by line. I’m calling it a good thing. My rough drafts aren’t nearly so rough as they used to be and the next draft will be that much easier.

I really don’t know how other writers work, except of course SO, who spends quite a bit of time on charts and graphs. It’s odd, I’m a chart and graph person except when I write. My eyes glaze over and my brain goes on standby when he shows me the charts he’s made to track his character’s progression and tension levels. He also has lists of every person, place and object of importance, where they first enter the manuscript and why.

When I look at these things through my glazed eyes, I mentally kick myself in an attempt to snap out of it, but quite frankly I just can’t seem to do it. I have a simple excel that is broken down into scenes and groups the scenes into chapters. I type in a summary of each scene, POV, and word count. That’s it. But it works for me because if I think, damn, what was the name of those mountains?  I can look back and see when she crossed them the first time, pull up the chapter and there they are. Again, it works for me but I wonder if it’s enough.

I know editors have comprehensivestyle sheets and copy-editors will know your book better than you do. SO has shown me their lists and oh are they comprehensive. Enough to make me think copy-editors must be saints, or crazy…. ; ) So I’m wondering, is my lax attitude about such things one of the differences between published authors and writers such as myself? but then that’s where I hit a wall head on (this does wonders to get that brain working again) If I were to make a graph, chart a course for each of my characters, list everything before I write the book, I’d never write the book. The magic would be gone. One of the things I love about writing, one of the reasons I do it, is because I want to know what happens next. I love when a small little side character asserts him or herself and becomes a very interesting side plot. This happened with Mohan in Obsession. It also happened with Nathan in this manuscript but I’m not ready to share him yet. Mohan started out as a thief who tries to steals Ilythra’s horse. I’d planned on using him for maybe one or two scenes for the sole purpose of slipping in some of Ilythra’s backstory. Well here’s a snippet:

“And you tried to rob me because?”

“From time to time I … relieve others of their excess baggage. Even things out. A service to society at large.”

“You’re a thief.”

“We all must use the talent we possess.”

Ilythra smiled. “Then take a piece of advice. Choose whom you attempt to relieve of their excess baggage more wisely.”

“I always heed the advice of a beautiful woman.”

She removed the blade from his neck. “You’re not dangerous.”

 “Why do I feel I’ve just been insulted?”

She ignored his question, reached for her scabbard and sheathed the sword. “So you’re a thief, though not a very good one. You have a name?”

“I object. I’m a very good thief.”

This is only part of a conversation that come to me so fast it was hard to write it down in time (right before I fell asleep with the computer already off, that’s why I keep a pad of paper next to my bed.) My point is Mohan and Ilythra had chemistry. The kind of chemistry that just happens or at least I haven’t got a clue as to how to make it happen and I wouldn’t know how to chart something like that. I do know my little thief turned into a major character. And now I’m pulled between the desire to share more and indulge myself a bit and fear that you will curl your lip and think, what drivel, that’s why she hasn’t been published yet, but I’m working on my confidence so here’s a little more of their banter just shortly after the first bit.

…For a moment, she’d been vulnerable. He hadn’t taken the bait. “Your name?”

“Mohan.”                                                                                          

“That’s not your name.”

“If I answer to it, what does it matter?”

“I think I might like you.”

He bowed. “And you? Do you have name?”

“They call me Ilythra.”

“Which is not the same as your name.”

“It is who I am.”

His teeth flashed in the glowing embers of the fire. “We’ll get along fine.”

“Good, now that’s settled, why did you try to steal my horse?”

“Why did you say I was no danger?”

In a blur, a knife whirled through the air burying itself in a tree behind and above Mohan.

“Good point.”

“Answer the question.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“You just did.”

 

 

And so it goes…. : ) I’m still tempted to explain that it needs a final edit, but I won’t except I just did…. *sigh* yeah it’s that confidence thing.. I’m still working on it.

 

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