My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘chapters’

Lost Along the Way

I’ve just realized that I got lost.

What do I mean? Well, I’m lost in planning my novel. It’s evolved so much since the initial “first” draft of NaNo 2007. I didn’t plan on looking over the earlier part of my first draft until I was completely done. In reality, I’ve had to go back and “redo” the chapters for critique. And that’s where I became completely disoriented with my surroundings.

The last few times I’ve been up for critique, I’ve completely nixed a chapter and wrote one from scratch instead. I saw a better direction for the story. However, because of the new chapters, it’s completely taken me off the previous path. The road is now lost amongst the bramble.

I’m scrapping most of what I’ve written from earlier because as I go through to see what chapter comes next for critique, I realize that it’s evolved from earlier on and doesn’t follow the story that I’ve set up for my group. So, I’m pretty much cranking out second “first draft” chapters.

Frustrating much? Yeah.

Oh and all my chapters are completely out of order numerically, at least in the “master” draft. It’s becoming quite confusing and a bit daunting trying to figure out what comes next, since I’ve really diverged from the initial.

It’s like staring at a map and realizing that instead of driving through Kentucky to get to Florida, you’re now an entire state over in West Virginia. Still traveling to the same place but on a completely different road. And now you’re trying to figure out this new path so you don’t end up in Maine.

(I’m horrible at analogies but that’s the best I could come up with) 😛

There are aspects of the original that I’m still using but I have to search for those, since most of the stuff is new or is being presented differently.

So I’ve figured out I need to re-map the beginning and develop at least a working summary so I’m not spending hours searching for the place I stopped at during critique. Part of me wonders if I should stop submitting for critique, at least temporarily, since this is all being worked on and redone.  It stands to reason that if me, the writer, is confused, that will be translated to my group. I don’t want that!

On the postive side, I at least have a slight idea  which new route to take. So my  first draft is now a “second” first draft. Of sorts. 😛

It’s time to sit down and map out  the new path so I’m no longer lost!

Awaiting Midnight

Midnight tonight signals the start of NaNo (as well as my 24th birthday)! I’m going to try and begin writing some then, even if I only get a few hundred words. I tend to stay up late on any given night anyway (on average going to bed around midnight or so) and normally I’ll stay up until 1 or 1:30 on Fridays and Saturdays.

Anyway, not sure how much coherency there will be to my late night writing, but it’s fun to actually do so for NaNo.

Before then though, I need to crank out as many chapter summaries as possible; I’ve gotten a few past the point I ended at during last NaNo so I won’t be writing blind 😛 However, I’m thinking I won’t come anywhere near close to writing the rest of them, so I probably will  just have to follow where the story takes me. Normally it’s difficult for me to write without some sort of basic outline, but it’s not impossible. Besides, most of my summaries end up changing a great deal as I am actually writing. My characters end up doing things I don’t expect, which I know every writer at some point has experienced.

I’m also realizing that I think my novel will be way too long with the course I was following, so I think I’m going to do a number of major changes (such as Kaiyo never discovering her father’s identity and profession until much later on). It’ll take out bigger chunks and hopefully speed the story along, as I think it’s kind of plodding along now.

I’m wondering if I should make her father’s identity a mystery to the reader as well but I’m still on the fence with that one. Part of my thinking is if the reader  knows his identity for most of the book, they’ll get frustrated seeing Kaiyo never discovering it. But then I’m not sure how much the reader will like being kept in the dark for a longer period of time without becoming annoyed as well. I can’t dwell on that now though or else it will take away precious thought space on the edge of NaNo.

Anyway, good luck to all of the rest of you out there embarking on this month long novel adventure!

A Rather Productive Weekend…For Me Anyway

So, I did manage to get some of my book worked on. Not any actual writing itself, but considerable work on my chapter summaries. I moved them around, added some, deleted others, etc.

I’m also going to condense them a bit so they aren’t as convuluted as they are now. I started working on the smaller summaries this weekend getting up to about chapter nine or ten.

I know it seems like I’m stalling the actual writing part–which I am because I’m waiting for NaNo. I figure now is the planning and re-organizing stage. There’s lots of little issues I’ve been finding as I go through the older summaries and I’m trying to fix them now. Key word there: trying.

I need more weekends where I’m out in the middle of nowhere with no distractions like TV and internet. That seems to be the only way I ever get anything done. Perhaps I ought to try working on my novel more out at the local bookstore or Panera Bread or something. I may get more done that way!

Prologues: Should Your Story Have One?

I know I’ve been wondering whether or not I should have a prologue in my story. I’ve read that a lot of agents don’t like them and many will reject the entire manuscript because it has a prologue. Personally, I think that’s a bit overboard–I’ve read plenty of books that were published and that the prologue added to the story.

I was reading on Writing World that for a book to warrant a prologue, it needs to be one of the four following:

  1. Future protagonist–meaning that the prologue is set after the events of the novel and show why the following story occurs. It also needs to be written in the same POV as the rest of the novel.
  2. Past protagonist–It shows a defining moment that occured and made the protagonist who/what  he/she is and helps the reader further understand the character.
  3.  Different POV–Obviously this is that the prologue is a relevant event seen through the eyes of another character. The relavence HAS to be seen at some point in the book. It helps an author pull of plot twists that would not otherwise be revealed or known to the MC.
  4. Background–Normally these are used in fantasy or sci-fi novels to give a background to the world that the story is set in that the reader would not be able to pick up on in the story. Again, it has to be relavent to the story. This one is the hardest one to master and do successfully.

Currently, my novel is using a mix #2 and #3. It starts off with Kaiyo as an infant, a few months old. Obviously we don’t see in her viewpoint as she is so young, but I have it through her mother’s. In it, I briefly introduce her father–who throughout the story remains obscure to her–and show him parting from Kaiyo and her mother. I don’t go into the reasons behind it, simply to say that it’s safer for them both. I thought by using this, it would show some background to her story and thus is a “defining moment” when her father determines to stay out of their lives.

I’m wondering if it’s really needed or not, though I do like the fact that it’s there. I do have to change some of it. I figure I’ll decide on its necessity as I edit more.

Anyway, if you are writing a novel, do you have a prologue? What’s its significance? Does it use any of the four types of prologues or mix of them? I’m curious to see how many actually use them in their writing.

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