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

Posts tagged ‘plot catalyst’

Still Stumbling Along the Novel Path

I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to work on my novel this weekend. I’d like to get closer to the end as well as work on some synopsis issues.

The beginning keeps changing and morphing into something completely different from what I had planned, but it’s a good thing. I’m nixing the prologue, adding a new, but important character and introducing the plot catalyst by chapter two (within the first 20-30 pages). That’s one of my issues with published books–sometimes I think it takes too long for the action to start and there’s too much backstory. I realized I was essentially guilty of one of my biggest pet peeves, and even though the plot catalyst was introduced by chatpter 5, that was already past page 40 in Microsoft Word. It took some time to figure out how to introduce it without rushing it, but I think I may have finally come up with a solid beginning.

For me, the beginning of a novel or short story is the HARDEST part to write. You have to catch the reader’s attention and not turn them off. You have to maintain that balance between too much detail and not enough. You have to introduce your main character and establish some sense of connection.

No wonder I often stop reading books within the first 50 pages.

I know, I’m picky about my books (perhaps too picky) but this is everything I’m striving to do because I don’t want to lose the reader by that 50th page and make them shake their head and say, “Where’s that lovely story promised in the synopsis?”

But for now, I have to focus I just ending the blasted thing and then researching, editing and polishing the draft. But it’s so hard not to turn back and work on the other things that bother me in the earlier parts of the book 😛

It would be oh so nice to start querying this year…but wishing and dreaming won’t make it happen. I have to actually do it.

I shake my head in shame at my procrastination 😛

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A Rather Productive Writing Weekend

Well it was a productive weekend for me, at least when it came to writing.

How long has it been since I’ve said that? 😛

I edited and re-wrote the bulk of my chapter for critique, though even after a brief re-write, I realized it still has a TON of work to be done on it (namely in being more descriptive…something I always struggle with). I realized when I first went through editing it that the second half of the chapter didn’t really make sense…it had my MC going to visit the merchant’s area of the small mountain village she lives in for the first time. It was interesting, until I thought how it wasn’t very smart in the scheme of things.

She’s in this tiny and remote mountain village for a reason–she’s being hidden from people who are searching for her. She also stands out quite a bit, being half American in a town that’s all Japanese, and her looks as well as her dress would definitely create a bit of a stir. So, I decided to delete that half of the chapter and change it to something else, something that came spur of the moment and was written as such 😛

After that was done, I ended up jotting down a few notes for the third and final section of the story (these notes were mainly written in the car on the way to the in-laws house for dinner–and no I wasn’t driving :P–as well as written during church…I know, I should have been devoting my full attention to the sermon, but I couldn’t get the story voices to stop talking!)  I also came up with a new beginning, one that eliminates my dull prologue and starts the plot catalyst within the first two chapters or 30 pages. That happened thanks to my blog-reading addiction and coming across Agent Kristin’s blog entry on queries and the importance of the plot catalyst being introduced early on in the manuscript.

I also added a new character to the beginning as well, replacing another character I had in that segment. She will be important as she’s my MC’s only close friend (besides her mother, who dies right before the beginning of the book) and someone she views as a sister. The character just came out of no where really, but she came as subtly and as welcoming as a summer breeze. She’ll also be very important later on in the story.

I often wonder how much more this book will change as I keep moving along. I can’t even remember what the “original” idea was, though the main fragments are still there.

I’m also incredibly thankful to my blog addiction. I’ve learned so much about the publishing world in these short months because of it. I believe it’s helping me craft a better story 🙂 But I have to be careful not to spend too much time researching…something I end up doing too much…

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