(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Of Rewrites, Research and Demises.

As mentioned last week (On Writing, Tea and Aching Fingers), I have finished the draft and first rewrite of chapter 2.  A copy has now gone off to my fellow writers in my writers’ group. I have already had some feedback and am now eagerly awaiting more comments and suggestions and have already started final (hopefully) rewrites. 

This week’s plan was to sort out the plot order for chapter 3 and I was planning on starting the rough draft of chapter 3 yesterday. Notice the - was?  Indecision, procrastination and last minute inspiration all colluded to prevent me from these specific plans.

Where should I place a Secret Headquarters? I kept moving it around on the map, not happy with any of the potential addresses. (No doubt I will suffer the same fate for the next HQ.) I grabbed my Boots Poverty map of the 1880s, logged onto Google Maps and a hot cup of tea then prepared to make a final decision so that I could start writing. The ‘research’ lasted all day.

For me, knowing where everything happens is essential. It effects what and how I write. Now that I have a specific setting (and back up settings), I can coherently describe the area, the building and be consistent with travel times and directions. I also know which way our heroes have to flee to avoid (boom, boom, boom) certain death. (sorry to those who are not Labyrinth fans.)

Then there was ‘the procrastination’.  Avoidance will not get my manuscript draft written. Bad Karen!  In my defense I did tinker with the plot outline, arranging it in a more satisfactory order, slot in some hints/clues for a later plot points and devices and came up with some cool steampunky gadgets to play with – all last minute inspirations.

Now I face one of my most difficult decisions; part of the plot requires a certain level of destruction. With destruction, comes the possible demise of some characters. Some authors seem to relish killing off characters, whether they be beloved main character, sidekicks or members of the unnamed citizenry that populate their literary worlds. I am currently wrestling with this issue, as this will provide further conflict and further the plot… but then…


Of Rewrites, Research and Demises.

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