August 22, 2011

Puzzling Things Out

As I've noted before, there's more to writing than writing. I didn't write during today's writing session. Instead, I mused on how exactly I'm going to fit together the pieces of a pivotal scene so it doesn't fall flat.

I've maneuvered my characters just about into position for the big, climactic confrontation in which everything is revealed. Tension is high, and everyone is at risk of saying things they wouldn't otherwise. For maximum effect, I've chosen a more dramatic and public moment for this scene than in the previous draft.

I need to pay attention to character motivation and create a spark that will believably ignite a showdown that should have happened years ago. I also have to keep in mind what each of the different characters knows, incorrectly believes, and is in the dark about, as well as what the reader knows. Significant parts of the backstory are different than for the last draft, so the nature of big revelations has also changed.

It's a complicated puzzle that I've been working toward solving throughout this revision. Tomorrow I'll try writing the darn scene and see if I can get all the pieces to snap into place.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Leslie Greffenius at Beyond the Margins discusses How to Begin a Story: "I've found that, when I begin a tale, I have to write a provisional beginning until I've written an entire first draft. Then, after I have an idea of the shape of the whole piece, I go back and re-write a beginning that will draw readers in -- if not now, then soon, and for the rest of their lives."

→ Kiersten White offers a tongue-in-cheek Guide to Genre Within YA: "Dystopian: Must have a main character with the letter X or Z in their name. If you have no characters with Xs or Zs, you are doing it wrong and you have not written a dystopian." (Thanks, Nathan Bransford!)

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