Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 17 - 2454 Words, and a New Character

A new character came to me today. (Well, he's been bugging me for a while but today he declared himself ready and chose his book). Unfortunately he'll be in the Serial that I plan to write next year. Fortunately, he's an antagonist and he gives me an opportunity for much more world building on the other side of the equation. You could think of him as Dr. Horrible meets a young Inspector Lestrade. (Only smarter but less lucky.)

This always happens when you're in a slow spot on the WIP. Other things start looking much more attractive. And the question always arises, can you work on both? And the answer is yes... At least, you can if you don't go fritter away three hours after asking yourself that question. (Well, one of those hours was used catching up with Chuck on Hulu, which is also important.)

The key about balancing such things is this: first, meet your deadlines, but after that, do what's necessary to be most productive. If the tough part is going slow, continue to chip away at it slowly, but don't waste time and energy spinning your wheels when you could also get a lot of other work done.

Today I did meet my goal, but I did it partly by skipping ahead.

Running Total: 34702 Words.

34702 / 75000 words. 46% done!

In Today's Pages: Rosie reminds Karla that The Saint was a thief.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

That's tough to do for me! I end up being more enthusiastic with one project than the other one.

Good for you for meeting your goal. I've got to run off and get a LOT written today...

The Daring Novelist said...

Yeah, normally I just try to get the new inspiration down and out of the way, but I've got such a backlog of things I need to write, I've goy to leverage my enthusiasm as much as I can.

Hart Johnson said...

I HATE middles... or more specifically LATE middles--the spot between half and 3/4--every word is a challenge and every other story SO MUCH sexier... so hard to slog through! I think it sounds like you've got a good plan... meet the deadline then reward with another project. It's definitely how I finished my first book... and probably SHOULD HAVE for my most recent (it needs serious editing and may not have, had I let myself have a little release there)

You're doing great!

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks for lobbing me a sword, Watery Tart! (I've been waiting to say that.)

I find that a very helpful tool for middles is the Hollywood and Blake Snyder methods of breaking down a story.

Midpoint reaches the point of no return. The characters will be picking up the pieces from that. Snyder actually recommends a reversal - whatever the midpoint is (high or low) the next section should reverse it.

The other element to this section is "the long dark night of the soul" - and that's related to picking up the pieces. The character will do some soul searching here. In DIE HARD, that's where Bruce Willis talks about his family to the cop outside. In a mystery or suspense, this is very often the point where the protag realizes that a trusted person may not be trustable, and has to deal with it emotionally.

This leads to the "I have to do this myself" shift in the character which leads to the conclusion.

I don't have problems after the midpoint. My problem tends to come in the early middle. Why is why I skip a lot.