Saturday, 25 November 2006

Constant Reminder

I need to keep telling myself that even though sometimes it feels like I am spending way too much time (days writing) on a particular scene. What I need to keep remembering is that twenty pages, about 5,000 words, can be read in about ten minutes or so! This isn't to say that you can't spend too much time on a scene, we've all seen some really long winded books that spend thirty pages just getting the protagonist to go through a door into a new room. But honestly, when I start to think, "I've spent the last five days working on this bit, I've been here too long," like I have today, I then force myself to think about how I started the book originally.

When I first started the book I wrote about twenty pages to begin with and was pretty chuffed. Thought I'd done well, introduced my guy and moved the story forward about three scenes in that time. Then I read Stephen King's new book "Cell" and in the first twenty pages the protagonist has only walked a short way down a street, is buying an ice-cream and then the world starts going to hell. Barely anything has happened yet and its twenty pages already! I read that in about ten minutes! And I've got THREE scenes in my first twenty pages?!

Damn.

So I went back and re-read my start, and to be brutally honest with myself it had no substance to it, no depth. So I re-wrote just the beginning scene, all on its own, and it went from a mere four pages to twenty! It's much better, really sets a tone for the rest of the book and I am much much happier with it. In the second draft it may even grow beyond that but I'm not thinking about that at the moment.

Redoing the first scene will probably be the only re-write that will happen in this 1st draft. Because if I keep going back and fixing the things I don't think are working right I'll never keep moving forward and finish the bloody book.

I think I'm making sense...

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