Monday, December 26, 2011

Red Ribbon Monday

First picture with my new iPod Touch 4g.
I hereby declare Christmas 2011 a success, even though it didn't truly feel like the holidays to me until I was sitting at the dinner table with the family all around me. I mean that, honestly. If not for the dinner, and my dad feeling better, it would have been just another day. The year has been such a blur, and I'm thinking that's quite possibly a coping mechanism.

I have plenty of time to work up a New Year's resolution, so I won't go into it with this post. I'd definitely thinking about it, though. A lot. The time has come to sit down and ask myself what I really want, and what I hope to get out of what I'm doing. I have some choices to make next year that are long overdue.

This coming week, I'm going to have both boys home, but I'll be working on revisions (still). It's the book that wouldn't end. I swear, I think if I didn't have conference coming up, this book would be done by now. I have three more chapters to revise, and I need to write a denouement on the end. Then earlier today, when I wrapped up another chapter to toss into the revisions stack, I peeked ahead at what I'd be working on, and noticed there's a scene missing. I remember writing it, I remember some of the phraseology I used. But, it's gone. Deleted. I don't remember when I did it, or why, but what matters is that it is gone, and I'm gonna have to rewrite it from scratch.

The missing scene comes just past the midpoint of the book, so I have to be very careful what I add in there. I've gotten much better at filling in gaps like this, though. I do a quick read through of the surrounding passages, make a few notes - listing pertinent details so the continuity is there. Afterward, I take out of fresh sheet of notebook paper, and sketch the scene. I ask myself the following questions:


  • What needs to happen in this scene? 
  • Where does the scene take place?
  • Who is affected by what happens in this scene?
  • How are they affected?  
  • Why must this scene be in the book?


I answer those question with only the important details, then fill in the gaps while writing. It makes the whole process easier to work with. With just those five sentences I can pull together a focused scene that flows with the rest of the book. It's still a chore to do it, but it's a valuable skill I've had to call on more than once. I don't know why I'm posting that now, but there it is.

I need to print up my next chapter and start with the markup, so I'm gonna close for now. Just for the sake of saying so, it would love, love, love to send this story out by the end of the year. <fingers crossed> I could happily wrap up 2011 in a shiny red bow if I could just get this one story off my desktop and into the submission pile. It's too hard to say how much work this story still needs, though, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. ;o)

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