Got Some Words

Right. Some words. Not as many words as I needed, and not words in which I have any faith. I need conflict between the two main characters, and also sparks, and though I had some of those back when the damned thing was rolling, at the moment I seem to have ….

Well, not conflict. Not sparks. I have something, dammit. I have whole friggin’ pages of something.

Perhaps the problem is that I’m transitting, in a situation where how my heroes get to where they’re going contains essential ingredients of the resolution of the book. Talyn gets both Part A and Part B of the actual solution to this thing from this trip. But she doesn’t yet realize what she’s discovered, and in consequence the trip reads like … well, driving. On horseback, with magic, with an army on her tail. But still … just … driving.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

9 comments… add one
  • HughSider Oct 13, 2003 @ 12:35

    Well, I don’t know that advice from me is worth anything, but…

    As a reader, I’m a lot more patient in the middle of a long novel than in a short piece. Six pages of quieter going is going to take your reader about five minutes to get through – and they might be happy for an emotional break. Speaking just as a reader, after I know characters well I’m a lot happier with a few slow passages.

    I wonder how many people could identify this passage from reading the entire book? I bet I couldn’t, even with the hints provided. This might be an interesting experiment, if you decide to let the section stand. If not, I’d _love_ to see a before and after view somewhere. I’m sure I’d learn from reading it.

  • Sheila Oct 11, 2003 @ 8:09

    Not that you’d want to take any advice from a Californian

    Hey Misha, can you guys come down to Florida now and do something about Jeb Bush? (grin)

  • MishaM Oct 10, 2003 @ 20:24

    Not that you’d want to take any advice from a Californian ;), but how about a story-teller on board (maybe a shrivelled up old hag from an ancient tribe with no written history — what do I know). You could push the scenes along with a few stories, which might also shed some background and possibly even tap into whatever it is Talyn’s supposed to be learning on the trip.

  • matt Oct 10, 2003 @ 16:48

    when i hit a block in my own writing, i take a three day break, work on a short or something, and then come back to it fresh. i’ve found that walking away for a few days recharges my attitude. I find that i miss writing it and i look forward to working on it again. losing three days of possible two page advancements doesn’t look so bad when you know you’ll come back to it strong again.

  • Joel Oct 10, 2003 @ 16:24

    Maybe the characters are too strong in the scene? Maybe show a little vulnerability in one character and have the other responds what looks–at first–negatively. Instant conflict until they realize their misunderstanding.

    Or is this too cliche?

  • Ter Matthies Oct 10, 2003 @ 15:40

    What Sheila said.

    Maybe, zoom in on a similar task (eating, horse grooming, message reading) at different points in time along the road trip, to contrast conditions, or show how the sparks build along the way.

  • Holly Lisle Oct 10, 2003 @ 13:54

    My thought from your description is that it might just be too long.

    Probably not that. It is about six pages (yes, that’s the sum total that I’ve managed to write in the last three days).

  • Linda Sprinkle Oct 10, 2003 @ 13:47

    My thought from your description is that it might just be too long. Maybe you need just the Part A part, the part B part, and just enough of the rest to hide the revelations. Or, maybe I’m just projecting my tendency to put in the whole darn trip while I figure out which parts I actually need. Or maybe you need to hide the Parts A & B in a train wreck, figuratively speaking, since they’re on horseback. 🙂 Good luck!

  • Sheila Oct 10, 2003 @ 13:30

    I’d break up the road trip. Zoom in on them when they’ve got a breather, or even when they don’t. Have them zoom in on each other, notice the little details that normally escape attention. Fear magnifies things, sometimes makes us over-cautious and/or reckless, I think. Hope that helps. 🙂

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