Friday, June 29, 2012

Wordcount . . .

. . . never mind. I won't call it a "Wordcount Wednesday" two days late.

So I haven't added any new words just yet. I spent the last week or so reading Failstate #2 (I still don't have any idea what I want to call this thing). Thankfully, I've come to realize it's not the mess I thought it was. There's a fun story in there after all. I'm actually quite relieved to learn that.

I still think some stuff is missing, but I'll get to that in a moment.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that, when I first wrote Failstate, I hit kind of an interesting snag. For some reason, I wrote that story in such a way that the plot would only have been possible if a week had eight days in it. In this blog post, I detailed how I created a calendar and, using Post-It notes, figured out the chronology.

This time around, I realized that I didn't have an eight day week to worry about. Instead, a lot of the events happened in what you might call a temporal vacuum. With very few exceptions, I didn't ground the scenes into a discernable timeline. Days were just scattered through the story and that really didn't work. So, once again, I got out the calendar sheets and started to work.

Here's before:

If you look at that mass in the top page, that's part of what I'm talking about. A lot of scenes with no discernible anchor points. I basically wrote down chapter numbers and a brief, one or two word description of the action for reference. Like last time, I wound up with an "orphaned" chapter, one that needs to be slipped in somewhere.

After putting together the mess, I sat down and took a closer look at what I had. I tried to keep in mind some of the "missing pieces" that I noticed, stuff that needed to be put into the story to make it flow a little better. This is how the calendar looks now:

So there we have it. The purple Post-Its represent new scenes or chapters that have to be written. So all in all, not too bad.

There were a lot of victims in the process, though. I cut several scenes that just didn't do much of anything, including about 7,500 words in one gigantic axing.

The next step is to start work on the notes I've taken and see how this all gets stitched together. Onward and upward!

No comments: