Friday, March 04, 2005


I've been working back and forth from a Word document to notecards to a new Word document. Why? I'm not sure, but it seems to work for me. The first Word document is filled with random bits of scenes and things that I believe will happen in the Shann novel, mostly pretty sketchy. Then I took those bits and created scenes out of them, putting each perceived scene on its own notecard, with the pov character's name in the top left. If I'm not sure whose pov the scene will be from, I'm happy to leave it blank for now. Probably three quarters of them were easy to figure out, though. Then I shuffle those notecards around until they make some sort of logical order, and try to figure out what has to happen in between them to get the characters to the next notecard. That helped to fill in a few more. When I got stuck, I typed them back into a new Word document, a line for the pov, a line for the setting, then however many lines needed to describe what happens. When you click on word count, you can also see how many paragraphs you've made. Divide by three (because you've hit enter three times for each scene) and you know how many scenes you've thought up so far. I now have 51, and I'd be happier with 70-80 as my scenes tend to average 1500 words, and I'm aiming for 120K.

There are two options, and I'll likely use both. One is to take a close look at the pacing. I think there may be parts with too much action and no scenes allowing the development of the relationship between my two characters, who are from two very different cultures and falling in love. I need to mine that diversity more, I think. I also need to find out ways to *kill some time* while a character is pregnant. In essence, that's also a pacing problem, and unfortunately, she can't really get pregnant enough earlier to make a real difference to the plot line. As it is, there's little way that time can simply pass, and I need to figure out something that works for that. I don't know if sending them on another wild goose chase at that stage (as in, adding yet another major conflict) will be the right thing to do. That would be the second way to up the ante as far as scene count goes. At least I know at which stage in the plot things need to stretch out.

But really, isn't there a limit to the number of times two people (one or the other or both) can get captured and escape in one novel? You mean I may have to come up with something else? LOL

In other news, calf #10 was born today. Six heifers and four bull calves so far, eight babies left to come.


Jean said...

Gee, Val. I'll have to check the regs, but I think if they get captured and escape more than 14 times, the novel self-destructs when the reader reaches that point. It's a law or something. :)

Valerie Comer said...

Whew, I'm still good, then. I think I'm only up to nine... :P