A blog about writing . . . and a lot of other things

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I love it when a plan comes together

I mentioned in my blog post yesterday that I was considering deleting chapter seventeen of Ravenswood.  While reading through the novel again I get to that chapter and it is so boring and stupid that I can't even make myself read it, so pointless that I think I can delete it and have the rest of the book make perfect sense.  It's kind of like when you watch the deleted scenes on a DVD and think, "Well, duh.  Why did you shoot that scene in the first place?"

Unfortunately, if I remove that chapter then the novel, which was already on the short side, officially becomes a novella.  I don't want a novella.  I want a novel.

So I've been taking advantage of the insomnia due to oxycodone withdrawal (fun times!) to try to come up with some way to fill out the novel without just stuffing it full of rice like a cheap burrito.  I can't get around the fact that I'm going to have to make more happen.

Some of you have read a draft of the whole novel.  Although there have been lots of positive comments,  everyone has also made it clear that I do not end the novel well.  I improved it some, but it still leaves you hanging (sorry).  Some of you also know that I already started a sequel to Ravenswood.  It seemed like a priority since I ended the first one so unsatisfactorily.

This morning I came up with the solution to my dilemma, which suddenly seemed so obvious that I can't believe it took me this long.  I'm going to tighten the remaining chapters of the first book (except chapter seventeen which is going into the garbage because I never want to see it again) and continue into what I've written on the sequel, which is pretty exciting, if I do say so myself.  If I can get the conflict in the sequel to blend well into what was the end of the first novel, it will actually do a better job of completing the story arc.  I even have a spreadsheet of the major conflicts and their resolutions so I can check that I'm following each through every act of the novel.  (I am, after all, an accountant.  I know how to make things tie out.)

What's funny to me (and probably only to me) is that the original climax to the novel is currently in the middle, and now what was, to me, the new climax of the novel is going to be in the middle, as well.  This sucker just keeps growing.

What is less funny is that I now have another 25,000 to 30,000 words to write and a lot of reorganizing to do.  It's kind of like thinking you finished building the shed and deciding instead to make it the entry of a nice vacation cabin.

Another thing I've realized is that after Piper cuts her own bangs in chapter two that she really looks pretty emo.  This was unintentional, but now that she looks like that I can't get her to change back.  So annoying.

Incorporating the sequel is also going to bring in a guy who wears vintage clothes and skinny pants and probably a scarf.  Believe it or not, I really don't have anything to do with these decisions.

I'd better get back to writing.  I have a LOT of work to do.

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