multiple perspectives

Despite my expected setbacks (reading Scarlet, getting swamped by this grad school homework) and unexpected setbacks (getting a promotion and having to move offices at work, last-minute social engagements, etc.), I’ve still managed to make some progress on my Copper revision. My word count is up to 53,260, which means I added over 3,000 words just by going back and adding more description that the story really needed in the opening two chapters. Use those five senses! ;)

One of my beta readers is also a counselor, so she read the book through a very interesting lens. She knew that my Myers Briggs type is INFJ, meaning I am very intuitive in my relationships; I can understand another’s emotions without having to verbalize to myself the way that feeling is being deduced. So she pointed out that someone with a more “social” type needs the details spelled out a bit more to reach the same conclusions.

Long story short, I’ve been able to notice a lot of scenes where I was accidentally subtle when it would be better–especially for YA literature–to describe the scene more fully. That’s not to say I’m bogging down the scenes with Tolkien-level descriptions! I think I’m walking a fine line of keeping nuance in the story while also fleshing out each scene for the reader.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my screenwriting professor who passed away last year, Jack. He had such a passion for story and character, and would have asked me some really specific questions about the development of both aspects in this story. Here are some examples of questions he would have pressed me to answer well:

* Is the relationship between the love interests organic, believable, and valuable?
* Are you, the author, fully aware of the main characters’ histories, motivations, hopes, and fears? (Not just the heroes but the villains, too. Being aware means you can utilize that knowledge to make a deeper, better, more realistic story).
* Did you do your research? (Oh man, if he knew how much I’d made up about submarines… but it’s a MAGICAL submarine! Ack, okay, more research necessary).
* Are you using each scene to advance the story–including dialogue, but in an appropriate and non-hokey way?

Ah. I am so thankful for the people, both past and present, who have supported my writing endeavors and challenged me to become better at it.

As a final thought… this is quite corny, but I was reading my Chinese zodiac information (dragon!) last night after my sister-in-law (tiger) and I were discussing fortune cookies we’d received recently. This popped up in a description about dragons: “They will work diligently to complete their life goals.” Hell yeah! BOOKS, YOU ARE ALL OVER MY FUTURE. This publishing thing WILL happen. I WILL be an author. It’s going to be great! I’m way too freaking stubborn to give up! My other zodiac… what is it, astrological sign? Something like that, the one based on birth month rather than year, is “Taurus.” I am Dragon-Bull! Stubborn and persistent to the very end!! Hahaha. I don’t believe in the stars guiding my life (God’s got that covered), but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a bit of encouragement away from it, either…
Fun stuff.
Just gotta keep reading, keep writing, keep living life to the fullest.

(Speaking of reading… I haven’t decided what to read next)!

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3 Comments

Filed under Writing

3 responses to “multiple perspectives

  1. My main question for you, is how do you find so much time to write? Full time job & husband, and whatever else is going on in your life, and you still seem to find time almost everyday.

  2. Good question… I’m still finding the balance… luckily my husband needs his geeky computer time every evening (for like, fantasy baseball and reading CNN and things like that) so I can get a lot of stuff done while he’s already ignoring me. hahaha. Also, I have a job where I can daydream, so I do a lot of plot-planning/problem-solving/etc. while I’m making copies and stapling. And really the only exercise I get (bad me) is walking the dog, which also leaves lots of room for daydreaming. I can picture a scene playing out in my head before I actually sit down to write it.

    I also have some tools that are really important to me, namely, the National Novel Writing Months. I now do NaNoWriMo in November and both Camp NaNoWriMos in whatever months they choose to hold them (April and July this year, I believe). So that is 50,000 words each of those months… three new rough drafts of book projects, every year. My family and close friends know how seriously I take the NaNo experience and give me grace when I skip out on social activities or get really grumpy from lack of sleep. But, that is only 3 months out of 12! And then I have a great skeleton that I can build up much more slowly. Or, if it’s kind of a lousy skeleton, I can hide it away and read it in a few months to see if I still think it’s lousy or if it’s worth the revision time.
    For example, my “Copper” story (the one I am working on as my main priority right now) was written in a sleepless August Camp NaNo, and now I just have to do the revisions, which require much less focus than the first writing. So if I get interrupted, or my husband wants to go out, or we turn on a movie, I can multi-task.

    I’m sure there are better ways to do everything, but these have worked for me. Maybe eventually I will get to a point where I can truly write daily, like a 1,000 word per day quota or something, but 3 months of a crazy deadline and then a slower pace in between has been productive for the past two years.
    :)

    • Yeah that sounds like a good system for sure. I just don’t know if I could do the novel in a month. .. I usually go back to my few main things and revise or end up starting it over multiple times to figure out where it’s going

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