It took me a couple of weeks, what with interruptions and ennui, to get through my 2004 NaNo novel (all 53K words of it) during my Very Busy and Tiring Vacation. And I wrote about 500 words in rewrite on my PDA also while on this Very Busy and Tiring Vacation. 

About halfway through the reading I realized how much I had truncated the story in order to fit it into the time limit imposed by NaNo, with a whole lot of notes to fill in the blanks.  And yeah, it needs tons of work to make it work. The bones are fine - no worse than some novels I've been reading to my kids lately (Coraline, Changeling etc) but more complicated in structure than those books, since I've got five Bad Guys of varying degrees of threat, and five Good Guys of varying degrees of good. And I can see where I need to spread the antagonists out a bit, or slim their numbers down. Going over the Good Guys makes me wonder if I stuffed too much into the story. Yeah, that's probably it. And I need to give the main protagonist more at stake in an active way. She's the one with the need to get back to her body before she accrues really bad brain damage (about three weeks) - but she needs to be more involved with the other characters somehow. 

The other weakness it has is, I tried stuffing too much about the milieu into the story - some neat ideas - but in order to use them, I had the characters travel through some weird routes, when really, some of the pitfalls they encounter (personal and terrain) are more than enough.

It doesn't help that I am brain dead from the "vacation", wonderful as it was, and still feel that way from the time difference, and brain-freezed from the terror (for me) of finding a FT job after being out of the paying job market for ten years! Must Relax.

I wish somewhere there was a class on REwriting, as opposed to spewing the story out on the page in one manner or another. Because just about every writer in print slyly points out that their work is shite before the magic of rewriting it.

rewriting

Aug. 5th, 2007 06:49 pm
gategrrl: (Swayambunath Buddha)
Ugh. My stomach's upset from the soda, the two little slices of cake, and the two slices of pizza I ate this afternoon. The moonbounce for Mermaid's birthday party was a hit. And yuh, we're going to get another one for Little Guy's seventh b-day.  I'll probably order from a different company, though, because this bouncer was too soft and had too many little air-leaks in it.

I've spent the day reading during the quiet moments, my Land of the Dead novella that I wrote for 2004 NaNoWriMo. It's rough. It needs a LOT of work. But the bones are there, and there's enough meat in it to expand up on it and fill it out. I'm half-way through it, and yes, I skipped ahead to the end pages. There's some *really* good stuff there, but in my notes within the text, I kept writing, "Must stick foreshadowing in earlier in the story, or the reader will be lost". And the ending doesn't really end, because at the time, I didn't know how to end it.  So the following year, I wrote the continuation story of this, but ended up hating it. But some ideas are already percolating (a little) for the ending. 

I think the way I'm going to revise is to completely abandon the current rough draft text, and rewrite totally (with the first draft there for reference). The language I used is much to grammatically casual, and it needs to be tightened up. The viewpoints keeps shifting, sometimes within a paragraph. And it's clear from reading where I wasn't sure about a concept and how it worked. I might even enjoy this rewrite.

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