Making More Sense of the Story

I focused on character development in TalysMana tonight, since I was actually giving Will Grey his first real time onstage.

Kettan ended up with a few good moments, too. I’m still not to the big bang for the scene, when Will finds out what Kettan’s been up to.

But he’s going to be smart getting there…and that part of the scene, which I’ll hit tomorrow night, will be a lot of fun.

It’s important to keep asking yourself, “Why would he do that?” about any character while you’re writing him. Your characters with make a lot more sense to the reader and your story if you keep that one question in mind every time you get ready to have a character do something. Saved Kettan from a moment of deep stupitude by asking that just before she was ready to answer a question Will asked her.

For tonight, I got 517 words I like. I’ll take that.

Am a couple thousand words now into Lesson 13 of How To Revise Your Novel. Am dealing with all the issues of revising and tracking conflict that come up as you’re in the process of hacking your first draft to pieces.

This is one of those area’s that can be tricky to work through, and require a lot of effort to get right.

I want to make sure I cover all the possible problems AND the solutions.

It’s an interesting writing night.

How are your words coming?

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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.

12 comments… add one
  • Janice Jul 30, 2010 @ 13:54

    517 words …

    But I will have to admit, that some of this was prewritten a year earlier by me. I simply reshaped the book some and I am glad that I found your website, because this is a good stress reliever. Over the last 15 months, I have been unemployed and searching for work. It can be a dull and tedious process and writing allows for some excitement in my life. So, I have decided to start writing again. At least 250 words a day. This book has been rolling around in my head and trying to get out on to paper. So, I am letting out. Maybe one day, I can be an author too.

  • Lucca Feb 2, 2010 @ 22:37

    Two days ago, I managed to get back to writing, thanks to the timer method. I’m not having much time, but I’m pulling out of the hat 30 minutes to write fiction per day (as lousy as that) with 500 words yesterday, and 750 words today… which amazed me.

    Anyway, I’m in the process of blowing up cards, which I wrote during a weekend during holidays, and I found that this tiny one-liners hid behind a whole story. I was afraid the short descriptions of the scenes would kill all the fun of writing them when the proper time came, but I’m having a blast with this!!

    I can say I’m back in business!!

  • Cayleigh Feb 2, 2010 @ 22:28

    I’ve been MIA for a little while, but I’ve still been getting decent word counts, 1,500-3,000 on good days.

    I’m sick now, so I don’t know who will suffer more, me or my writing. Either way I’ve broken the 50,000 word halfway point, so I’ll allow myself a few days of TV and video games so I can get back on my feet.

  • HannaBelle Feb 2, 2010 @ 14:18

    150 words on Bx2

    Its know its not much but considering I just got back from the dark side, its a LOT of words. It has been a rough couple months between guests, holidays, illness and dramas.

    I am working back through HTTS, and my muse is talking so much she is babbling. I love it!!

    I can’t wait for work to be over today so I can get back to writing.

    • Holly Lisle Feb 2, 2010 @ 14:29

      Fantastic! Have huge fun with the writing. And I’m glad you’re back from the dark side. I’m finally back myself. For me it was just holidays and The Virus That Would Not Die—no dramas.

      Wait…we did have all those hospitalizations in November…

      So, anywaaaay. Welcome back from the Dark Side.

    • DasteRoad Feb 2, 2010 @ 17:26

      Hi Hanna,
      I’m glad you’re getting in touch with your muse once more, welcome back to writing! 🙂
      I wanted you to know that I have in fact received your latest email, I just haven’t gotten around to write a reply yet, but I’ll do soon.

      And that sensation of “I can’t wait for work to be over so I can write” is so sweet, isn’t it? Keep up the good work! 😀

  • DasteRoad Feb 2, 2010 @ 13:22

    I take it “Will Grey” is a new character we’ll soon read about in Talysmana, Holly? Because for a moment I read that as “Bill” and I thought you were talking about the cop (who’s rather cool, by the way: I wasn’t expecting a cop to talk about ancient history to show his point, and I really liked that :)). Oh, and I really like the name “Will Grey” for some reason. That’s the kind of name I’d fight hard not to change in revision.

    On the topic of my own Writing of Awesomeness (forgive me while I mangle the english language for the sake of being silly), 619 words on monday.

    Both Erthel and Faurel deal with the consequences of what they’ve discovered. Their only certainty is that Erthel’s mother lied about a lot of things, for some reason which they can only hope is good, and that the previous day’s phenomenon was pretty different from what they thought at first. Faurel needs to consult his bloodline to decide how to proceed, and for this reason, in case his relatives need to question Erthel about her experience with the prayer, invites both Erthel and Maithel (whose opinions on the matter are held in high regard by his mother, or “our matriarch”, as he calls her) over for lunch.

    Now Erthel has to go to work and face the village’s reactions once again – this time more actively.

    • Holly Lisle Feb 2, 2010 @ 14:26

      I’d forgotten that Bill actually had a decent scene earlier. (An occupational hazard with writing first drafts the way I do).

      Will Grey is Bill’s new name. Hawthorne, his original last name, was too close to Hawksby, the last name of Kettan’s ex-boyfriend Nate.

      And Bill became Will because … well, yes. Because Will Grey is one of those names that you fight hard not to change in revision. 🙂 And “Bill Hawthorne” was a name that couldn’t hold me all the way through the first draft.

  • Greg Feb 2, 2010 @ 4:13

    KavI: 602
    D&DII: 815
    RFW: 1259
    And 2k on OFL revision. Lot of useless words in OFL. It was a project I started at the beginning of my learning curve, and hence the first draft had plenty of meaningless scenes. First draft was 88k, and I’m expecting the culled edition to be more like 50k!

    • HannaBelle Feb 2, 2010 @ 14:22

      Go Greg!! I have offline for a bit, reading but not responding. But, I always read your updates.

    • Holly Lisle Feb 2, 2010 @ 14:30

      Nice word count. And good luck on the manuscript cut. Those are always exciting.

      • Greg Feb 2, 2010 @ 15:39

        Hmmm…exciting, you say?!
        I know what you mean. Sharpening the whole thing into a more vibrant piece of work is rewarding, but there is something a little daunting about culling hundreds/thousands of words that you fought to get in the first place!
        OFL and RFW, along with the early draft of Kav from a couple of years ago, are very much my learning curve. In hindsight I realise that I threw down scenes for them with no real grasp of a need for conflict/change, etc. Consequently a lot of words went down that served little purpose. Early Kav had at least 2k of my protagonist wandering around a tunnel system. I’m about to chop a scene from OFL where someone books a holiday. A SCENE with someone on the phone, credit card in hand, booking their holiday!
        Now I’m just going to work their decision to do so into another scene.
        My most recent project, D&DII, which has gone from first seed to 50% written in about the last 8 months, is thankfully much tighter in first draft, so the revision should be less…brutal. 🙂
        Thanks for the support.

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