skip to Main Content

Fiction Friday

  • July 14, 2010

Happy Friday everyone! It will be a busy weekend for us because Matthew turns eleven today and this weekend is all about him with a family party tonight and a sleepover tomorrow. Sniff, sniff, my little boy is growing up!

It’s been a good writing week. I didn’t get as much blogging done as I wanted but I’m really happy because I finished the first draft of my novel a little ahead of my August 1st self-imposed deadline.

I think I have already mentioned, ad nauseum, that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing and I’m learning as I go. And for some reason I got really antsy this week and just started “writing to the end.” A lot of the final chapters are only three or four paragraphs (to capture the main idea). I wanted to know where I was with the pacing so even though it bothered me a little to have such a skeleton version of the final chapters, I did it anyway. Then I asked Dave, “what should I do?” Should I go back and expand those final chapters before I start the second draft or should I just start the second draft?

Dave was, as always, worried that it was a trick question or at the very least, completely rhetorical, so he suggested I ask someone else. I posted the question on the forums. I got lots of helpful answers, about the methods everyone uses, but it really came down to “You’ll just have to figure out what works for you.” But, um, I don’t know what works for me ’cause I’ve never done this before.

So, what I decided to do was go ahead and start the second draft. I had things in the first that I already knew were going to be changed and moved around and deleted so I opened up a shiny new document and started writing.

I’m glad I did. When I first started writing this book, I decided to tell it in first person, past tense, from the point-of-view of my thirty-year-old female main character. But about a third of the way in, I decided it would be even better if I did alternating points of view with my other main character, a sixteen-year-old boy. That meant I had some chapters to fill in so I went back through the first draft and, at the top of each section or chapter, reminded myself whose POV I wanted it to be in.

The first chapter is told from her POV but the second is now from his. In the first draft, the second chapter was only 284 words (I inserted one of those paragraphs to remind myself what needed to happen and then I moved on). When I re-vised chapter two on Tuesday, it grew from 284 words to 1,110 for a gain of 826 words. That made me really happy because, not only was it a way to show the voice of the other main character early-on, he was able to provide information that was missing before. I am happy about my decision to do the dual narratives and wish I had thought of it sooner.

The second draft is going to be harder. As I mentioned, not only are there summaries that have to be expanded into whole scenes or chapters, there are also places where I wrote “show don’t tell this here” or “use more description” or the even more worrisome “more!” so now I have to do that. I’m also a little worried about word count. The first draft came in around 60,000 (once I added 8k from my “scenes to add” document) but ideally, I want the word count of the final draft to be approximately 80,000 so hopefully all the things I need to add will get it where it should be while also allowing for the words I’ll need to cut.

So, that’s where I’m at this week. Hopefully I can keep moving forward and also try to get some more blogging done next week. And start that super-secret blog I hinted at because, holy smokes, that story needs to be told.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Back To Top
×Close search