Sunday, December 14, 2008

Editing JASPER

Another quick posting . . . gee, this could become habit-forming! Who cares about in-depth posts when there are quick-and-easy posts? They're so much quicker, and easier!

Ahem . . . .

I'm up through Chapter 6 of JASPER with the new editing work based on the recent planning work. The editing is coming along very well. I remember back to how frustrating it was when I was writing the last chapters of JASPER and I'm enjoying every moment of how it feels right now, which is to say, it feels like everything is making sense. Gone is that terrible, frustrating sense of urgency, that somehow I have to stop what I'm doing because it's not really the right thing, and if only I could see it, I'd know it, and then I could write it, and it would be the right thing. I now feel that what I'm doing is the right thing, and I'm fixing things in such a way that they will all tie in together and the plot will be consistent and will build to the right climax, not just any climax (some days, not just any climax will do).

I am debating on whether to go back and rewrite Chapter 5, just to make it more briefer, since extraneous overflowings of unnecessary wordage are superfluous, not to mention excessive. However, I think I'll hold off on that since it's not too extreme a problem, and the nature of that work lies more in balance and general tweakage. My main focus now is on bringing the story in line with itself (ie, general consistency according to the New Revised Plot Plan). After I tackle the large stuff, then I'll go back through for another round, when I can focus on finer details. I may want to rewrite some scenes then if I can think of alternate versions that accomplish the same thing story-wise but which do so in a more dramatic or engaging manner.

In order to keep this posting brief, as promised, I'll stop now.


Sunday, December 07, 2008

Planning Has Been Productive!

Just a quick update....

The recent planning work has been productive. I have a substantial amount of new insight into the new project, and it has inspired me to go back and solve the last remaining sticking point with the previous project. In fact, I spent all of last week working again on the JASPER novel. Even though I had previously written out answers to my major questions after finishing the first draft, and had "all the answers", I knew that one of these answers remained a sticking point even still: the issue of strengths and weaknesses, and how they affect the final climactic scene. I read an article recently that helped me get a better perspective on this issue which has proven so difficult for me, and it really helped. I went back through the JASPER story and revised my plan for it, and now am ready to go back to it and edit! Something I just wasn't comfortable to do a few weeks ago. That feels really good. There is much more planning work to do yet on the new project, though, which I am still unceremoniously calling the "CHASM" novel (still need a better working title!). However, I have done an awful lot of work on it, revising the story plan, fleshing it out in greater and greater detail.

So, what's next?

I think I'm ready to dive back into JASPER for some editing and rewriting of later chapters. I'll continue the CHASM planning, which has gotten very in-depth. I really shouldn't rush that. Even though I was so eager to start writing, I feel it's best to do all the pre-thinking I need so that I can really let loose once I start to write. I don't want to run off course, or end up with the same strengths-and-weaknesses issue that I encountered in the last few novels. It's a recurring problem for me, and one I very much want to solve. I think I'm on the right track with that after my recent new insights. I have little time, so I won't go into that further in this posting, but I am very happy to have gotten a better handle on that very critical aspect of storytelling, as least as I experience it.

My respects this December 7th to those who serve and have served in the military,

And wishing everyone a low-stress, high-fun holiday season,