Monday, July 17, 2006

This and That

Brain, n. An apparatus with which we think that we think. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

So, after my first blog post this morning, I started to work on SBCM. As I'm typing the scene, I said to myself, "I'm going to need to increase my total word count on this draft to 70,000 to allow for the removal of this scene."

If I'm going to take it out, if it doesn't move the story forward, if it doesn't serve a purpose, then why the heck am I writing it in the first place? Well, because it happened in the story. It just doesn't have to happen onstage.

How much of what you write do you toss out again?

I think that the first part of the first draft allows me to really get to know my characters. It's a voyage of discovery for me and some of my scenes are really just a way of finding out how the H/H would react in different circumstances.

I also don't think my story is romantic enough.

On the other hand, sometimes I think the H/H in stories are thinking about sex from the get go, and that isn't realistic in my mind either. I mean, as a woman (my husband assures me that sex is always on the mind of a man, even if it's just simmering on the back burner, so we'll take men out of the equation since they aren't the primary reader of romance)... where was I? Oh yeah, as a woman, when you see a good looking man, do you wonder immediately what he'd be like in bed? I think it starts slower... the initial attraction (mmm... yummy), the first touches (zap, zing) and the moves toward something more. What do you think?

I've received a bit of feedback on the new beginning to my other WIP. I think it's all right on track, both the good and the bad. I have serious issues with passive voice -- and every time I write "was" or "could" or whatever I think, "I should fix that" but I don't and so there it stays. UGH.

I also think that I'm trying to force the whole attraction thing at the beginning. My hero is recently jilted, and although he realizes that he never actually loved his ex-fiancee, I still think his penis shouldn't leap to attention the moment he sees the heroine (even if she is hot). So that needs fixing.

I'm considering taking it literally a paragraph at a time and making each one the best it can be. I wonder if I get away from reading it like a book and start reading each bit for actual craft, it might get better.

I was reading over at Mary's Blog where she's talking about what's she's learned from all of her manuscripts, and she mentions that she's written seventeen.


Holy Jamolee...

I only have six under my belt, and three were written more than twenty years ago (before I was even walking...LOL...) and aren't romance (one sci-fi, two mystery). Sheesh. You go girl!

I think what frustrates me the most about writing for publication is that what is in my head just won't come out the way I see it on the paper. There are only so many words in the English language, and sometimes none of them will appropriately express the thought I'm trying to share.

What frustrates you the most?


Tori Lennox said...

What frustrates me the most right now is not being able to sit and type as much as I would like. I'm pretty sure I've got carpal tunnel, but I try not to think about it.

Writing-wise, I think it would be lovely if I could just transfer what's in my head into the computer. Sure would make my life a lot easier!

Judy said...

I'm kinda like Tori, only I want what's transfered to the paper from my head to be the blankety-blank setting! I have a problem, when I read, of scanning over long passages that describe how the room/house/garden look and get right to the action/dialogue. I realize that it's important where the characters are, I just don't know that it matters too much if I imagine the couch they are sitting on to be red when the author thinks they are sitting on a black leather sofa. Unless, of course, that black leather is going to figure into the plot at some other time.

Oh, well... back to work.

Charity said...

his penis shouldn't leap to attention the moment he sees the heroine

Bwahahahaha! I'm so stealing that line. I hope you don't mind.

I toss stuff out all the time. It may seem like a useless exercise to write and then later, toss, but I don't really think of it that way. It just is.

I was working on a series of scenes that looked good in synopsis form, but weren't working in execution. Sometimes that happens. I backtracked and I think I know what stays and what doesn't.

Ceri said...

You're too funny!! But I know what you mean!

I'm on the verge of some rewrites and I'm going to have to redo some love scenes, which I've borrowed for other wips. Not a good idea to use the same material twice... even if its my material. Can one plagerize from oneself??

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MaryF said...

I've been doing this a long damn time, Marianne.

I throw stuff out left and right. I have enough stuff cut from Hot Shot and Surface and DLB to make whole new stories. Sad, huh?