I’ve spent this entire week working on one scene. One very complicated scene with a lot of characters who all need to have their say, from the point of view of one character whom all these other characters sort of pivot around, pick on, plead with, thank, help, connect with, or attempt to intimidate.
It ended up being chapter length, so I went ahead and made it its own chapter, as the next group of scenes look like they will hang together story-wise .
My scenes aren’t usually that long (around 3000 words, unedited), and normally one of my chapters is made up of 2-5 scenes. It was a bit discouraging around Wednesday of this week, when it seemed like I should have finished that scene and moved on to the next, but my characters had more to explore than I had anticipated (which I discovered during the second and third drafts), and some of it was great stuff. So I’m glad I let them all have their say. I’m of the opinion that for a first draft it’s better to have too much material than not enough. I have (ahem) gained a bit of experience in trimming off that excess. Besides, sometimes these unexpected conversations, attitudes, or spoutings off of various characters lead me in directions I’d never have gone if I’d muzzled them and stuck to my original vision of the scene. Good directions.
And at least now I feel like I got a little more accomplished once I pronounced that scene a chapter. I tell myself these things to help me not get discouraged and keep
climbing this mountain writing this novel.
So Friday is winding down. After my morning work, and lunch, I went out shopping for the upcoming conference. I found a good carry-on/purse/bag that should work well schlepping my quart-sized Ziploc bag of no more than 3 (or is it 4?) ounce liquids, two PBJs, and a Charles Martin novel through various airports. I don’t like to carry a lot with me on a plane, and this time I’m going even lighter. As for clothes… oh, how I wish I could hire someone to do that shopping for me. I walk into a mall and my energy level takes an immediate nose-dive. Just not my scene. But I really need some shoes since the only dressy shoes I own are sandals or boots. Neither is going to work for the awards banquet that happens on the last night of the conference.
And that’s a look at a day and a week in the life of this writer, whose about to pull leftovers from the fridge for dinner. My characters have far more interesting lives!
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