Good to have a goal

I have a goal.  I want the rewrite for the next Hollows book done in time that I can NaNo with you guys this November again.  I had fun last year.  It’s a very do-able goal, but it won’t leave me much time to enjoy the last few hours of sun outside this month.  It’s cold outside, anyway, so I’m content.

I pushed through a hard pair of chapters yesterday.  It took me an unreal three days for 45 pages, but I’m happy, or mostly happy.  I will be peaking at it this morning and taking something out that will be pushed deeper into the manuscript.  Too much is going on in it, and I have to reduce to keep the pace moving.  That was the big issue in this chapter.  Pacing.

I had three introductions and a first look-see at several sections of the church.  I like to have no more than one “important” introduction and two scene descriptions in a chapter, (the original scene, and then one shift) but will fudge it all the time if I can keep the pace fast or the dialog interesting.  Everything was important in this chapter, and I tried something I’d seldom do.  It worked really well.  I had Rachel walk out of the room, and when she came back, it was obvious that greetings had been exchanged.  It was an important introduction, but the reader didn’t have to see it.  What the reader saw was the comfortable ease in the room when Rachel came back, and that was far more important than “Hi, I’m Ivy.”

Still learning . . .  ;-)

31 Comments

Filed under Drama Box

31 responses to “Good to have a goal

  1. Hi Kim,
    It’s starting to get cold outside here too. But I really love the feeling of being cozy and warm when it’s cold out, so it’s kinda nice. Your lawn sounds beautiful, and wood smoke is one of my favorite smells. Those are definitely two of the best bits about fall.
    Such an interesting post! So, Ivy has three introductions that go well, one of particular importance? I can’t wait to find out…! Really cool idea, that the reader will know the result of those introductions based on the mood in the room. It’s so fun to read about your thought processes as you craft your story. These 45 pages sound fab.🙂
    Enjoy your day!

    • Hi Tiffany. I can see how it might be interesting to go back and see my thoughts when you finally get the book in your hand. Too bad it won’t be for almost a year. (shakes head) Slow business.

  2. Mel from OR

    Bless you, Kim! This advice was so helpful. I have that issue that everything needs to be described or explained, but in reality when writing from one person’s perspective, it’s really impossible for that person to understand everything that is happening. Unless they are God! This is something new I just learned. It’s good to see that a published author thinks the same. Cheers!

  3. Amanda in Tampa

    I am new to this NaNo thing… my name is angelcloud529. Looks like fun.

  4. Hello Mrs. Harrison,
    😀 It would be great to have you on board for NaNo.🙂 I can’t believe I’ve been on this blog for a year now. Things were so different then.🙂
    So, I won’t keep you from your work any longer. Write write write.
    And then rest, because the tag match will be reduxed.😉 And you’ll be it.

    Alyss

  5. Congrat’s on pushing through to new territory, Kim. I hope you’re able to participate in NNWM this year.

    I’m our area’s ML INaNo name = quillandink) and, although I’ve only one “win” in the four years I’ve played, I’m not the least bit defeated and plan, once again, to challenge myself. I’m taking a rebel’s stance this year by using my previous 3 unfinished projects as launch pads for completed first drafts of each within 30 days. I’ve got partial outlines for each story and plan to tighten these up before the 1st.

    BTW – anyone here care to share your NaNo name?

    • 🙂 I’m AlyssC01
      Come to think of it, lol, to my knowledge I’m the only AlyssC01 on the internet. ;P

      Good luck with NaNo!!
      I have no plot. Or. Sort of. But I killed all my characters. Already.

    • Very cool, Jeannie! It’s all about pushing yourself to find your new limits. Good luck on finishing your projects. That would feel indescribably good.

  6. mudepoz

    Always interesting. Always nice to see progression on a learning curve and sharing so others don’t have to climb so steep a mountain.

  7. Sandra

    oh Ms Harrison…How you adore your teases. And how we adore you for them.

  8. Judi in NJ

    I LOVE THIS!!!! The mechanics of your brain and writing style are so interesting and it’s awesome to be privy to these details. :))) I hope you do have the chance to NaNo this year. Enjoy the beautiful show Momma Nature is putting on, from INSIDE! Have a great week.

    • Thanks, Judi. 😉 I have a wonderful view of the world from my office, and last night I spent some time outside just breathing the air and making the feeling of it part of me. I’m not missing the changing season. Trust me.

  9. Maryellen

    I agree. The reader doesn’t need to be present for every tiny detail. If the characters are well-developed (as yours are), the reader can leave the room with one and have faith that the ones left behind are going on with their lives, thoughts, and conversations. Otherwise they would just be standing around staring at each other like a bunch of SIMS wiating to be clicked. Personally, I dislike when authors sacrifice pacing for description. When the story begins to take off on its own, writers should let it go. Kudos to you for recognizing that! 🙂 Keep those bunnies burning, Miss Kim!

  10. Jer

    You are such a tease with your re-writes;) Can’t wait! Are you doing a short story this year?

    Are you answering Q’s at ‘Ask me a question’ and ‘BMS?’
    My computer messed up like that this last year, it stopped updating your drama box. Just curious.

    • Hi Jer. No short story this year, no. But the world book will be coming out eventually, and a collection of shorts from me after that.

      I am still answering questions at the other pages, yes. I just forgot to look at them for a few days is all. It’s been updated now.

  11. NiNi

    Are you going to work on something totally new for NaNo or use a work in progress? I’ve been wanting to try this but, with working full-time, don’t feel like I can write 50k words in a month. After programming 10 hours a day, the last thing I usually want to do is sit in front of the computer some more. It may be a good way to get motivated, though. Especially, like you said, since it is getting cold again.

    Always interesting to get a glimpse inside your writing process.

    • Hi NiNi. I would like to write the first third of book eleven during NaNo, actually. I’ve got about a page of notes on it is all, so it will need a week or so of plotting out. I hear what you are saying about being computer-screen taxed. That’s one of the reasons I don’t read much anymore. Booo.

  12. Stephanie

    I am planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year in hopes that it will get my butt in gear as far as finishing my novel. I am only about 20,000 words into my draft right now, and I was wondering how many words you average per novel. My brain can’t interpret MS Word pages to published pages. I was never good at math (;

    • Hi Stephanie. Cool, I hope you do participate. The support you get from other participants is priceless in keeping you motivated.

      My manuscripts are actually kind of fat, but if you are a new writer, most agents and editors want 90,000 to 120,000 worlds. I think that’s about 300 to 375 pages of double spaced text with one inch margins. My manuscripts are about 525 pages. I could not get away with that as a new writer, but with a track record and a fabulous editor, I do. 😉 And I don’t take it for granted.

  13. “Still learning . . . 😉 ”

    Most important part of the post from this readers side. I wish more author would be as open and transparent as you tend to be… maybe thats why I own all of your books!

    Keep it up Kim!

    • Thanks, Chris. Writing is one of the last self-taught professions. You can take the classes and do the homework, but the only way you get better is by doing. Over, and over, and over. And so I’m always learning . . . 😉

  14. Marsha

    Thanks for the information on the number of scene descriptions. I am trying to write something worth reading, and I’m afraid my 20+ years as a contracting officer have really taken their toll. I tend to over describe everything down to the minute details. When you are hiring contractors you have to be so very specific as to what you want them to do. I am going to go back and try to take out some of my details.

    • Hi Marsha. My pleasure. I hope you find something you can use in there. One of the most helpful pieces of advice I ever got from my mentor (Faith Hunter) is that you tell the reader just what they need to know, and not an inch more. Pull them forward, not push.

  15. Jessica

    😉 It sounds like your up to the challenge! I am SOOOO excited for this installment!