Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting awfully close

First off, I didn't work on the scene capsules yesterday (but I did install a sliding garbage bin for under the sink?) - but I'm going to finish the capsules today. I've only got about 10-15 more scenes to finish and then it's done. I've already done from Chapter 15, sc. 5 to now (chapter 21, sc. 3) and will probably wrap this up in only another two or three chapters. So I'm real close, and that's very, very exciting!

To further break this down into measurable units, this is 6 chapters and 28 scenes - which represents a big chunk of the book. It also represents the climactic ending of the book, too. These scenes are all the more important to consider and draft to make sure that everything falls into place. These scenes are also the parts that were mostly in the second half the book when all of that time travel business was confusing things - so it's also been a challenge to smooth out all of the things I didn't want in there, and making everything fit.

So far, I'm happy with it.

The biggest changes:

So here are the three things that I had the most problems with, and those who did a peer review of the book had problems with, too. Needless to say, these items are all going to be remedied for the better - and in most cases, completely omitted from the next draft.
  1. Time travel - so ... he went back in time, but the first version of him was still there? Like, there were two of him? See, yeah, that was a bit confusing. GONE. No more time travel.
  2. Dream sequences - those were awkward. It seems whenever a writer is stuck, you throw in a dream sequence. Well, to be honest, I was stuck when I wrote them, but now I know where the story's going to go and how to get it there, so I'm not stuck anymore, and can completely remove the dream sequences - for the better.
  3. 911 transcript at the end. Yes, the ... what was it... Six pages of a 911 transcript - that's all gone, too. You won't have to read that again. I'll bet it was a pain in the ass. I'm sorry. I had this vision for the novel where there would be a bunch of different forms of information, like newspaper articles and transcripts and websites, etc, that would tell parts of the story instead of it all being just written down. While that's still a neat idea - the transcript didn't really work out. It stuck out like a sore thumb and I think took the reader out of the moment at a crucial time in the narrative.
So those items are gone and I think that's going to help make it better. Also, I'm going to beef up some of the minor characters to make them much more interesting. You might even remember who they are from chapter to chapter - which will make it better.

There was also a concern that the manuscript was getting wet while being out on a beach - I have yet to find a reasonable way to make the it waterproof. I also can't find a way to make it look as if you were reading a book instead of doing homework - so you may still be teased for reading it while on vacation.

So these are all things I'm happy with.

What I'm not happy with is that my coffee maker is starting to malfunction. It seems that it doesn't want to percolate anymore. So the water just sits in the back of the thing instead of brewing coffee. It's a good thing that our wedding shower yielded us a new coffee maker that we haven't hooked up yet, but now, certainly, we'll have installed by the end of the day.

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