Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Redrawing the Lines
I've been wrestling with exactly where my Act breaks occur since I began this third version of the first draft. Up to now I have interpreted my current position as early in Act II, with a lengthy Act I behind me.
However, I considered Alicia Rasley's comments in one of her articles (you can find them by following the link to must-read articles in the sidebar), and have reconsidered. She states that modern fiction tends to have a very short first act, maybe only one or two chapters long, before moving right into the protracted second act.
I shortened my first act in this third rewrite, shortening it to two short chapters. However, I felt that was not long enough, so I have been thinking that somehow some of what has occurred since is really Act I material. It's not. My first act is just short in this first draft, and I'm not in the early part of Act II, I'm coming up fast on the mid-point of the novel.
It makes sense. It's also nice to realize I really am farther than I was thinking, once I redraw the lines separating each act. It brings the word count a little more in line with what it should be.
It's interesting that in spite of having a solid outline, what I have written meanders a lot while still fulfilling the key plot points, just not as I had envisioned. So, the story idea is one thing, the story reality (in this version at least) is another, yet the two are complementary.
Back to work. Er, back to exploration!