cedunkley (cedunkley) wrote,

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the importance of "think time" when writing a novel...

No writing done this weekend, but that doesn't mean nothing was accomplished. The weekend was devoted to -- well, after grocery shopping and Christmas shopping and watching one favorite college football team lose (Alabama) and the other win (Oklahoma - who has to play the team that beat Alabama (Florida) for the National Championship), and reading a bit, and other stuff -- that wonderful part of writing I call thinking about the book. This process can last a few minutes or a few hours. For me it was a total of a few hours spread out in blocks here and there.

Most of my thinking about the book revolved around two things:

  1. Viewpoint character voice

  2. Changing the dynamic of the antagonists to ratchet up the level of peril at the start of the WIP.

As I am still working on the background story for this WIP, I get to use that as a playground to try out different things. I need to have the POV characters in this (some of which are POV characters in my WIP) grow from who they are at the start to who they are at the start of my WIP - or at least well on the path to who they would be by the time the events of my WIP take place.

I think I made some headroads into both items. I already had notes on how to tweak the opening scene of my WIP, which consisted of changing the identity of the person who gets killed. I think I've found a way to change the opening from the threat of danger to actual danger. I need to push the most important character in the WIP to his breaking point and I need to do it faster than my current half finished draft accomplishes this.

This same character (in the backstory I'm writing) is about to have get someone killed as a direct result of the choices he makes (or perhaps fails to make - I'll find out when I write the scene), and I want the impact of this death to remain with him and contribute to his actions later on in my WIP. I hope I can pull this scene off properly. This is the moment where this character leaves his old life behind for good (though it will take him a while to realize this).

Once again, I'm glad I decided to NaNo this year and especially glad I decided to write the backstory to my WIP. It is really helping me learn these characters, or rather how and why they are the characters I've known them to be for so long. It is also through the act of writing, helping me develop concepts that are missing from the WIP that, once added in, will greatly enhance the story.

Next on my thinking about the book list is tackling dialogue, which is currently my mortal enemy.
Tags: think time, writing

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