Friday, June 25, 2010

Fine Tuning

A quick, early post today because I have physical therapy this morning (ow), followed by some errands, then lunch downtown with a friend and a visit to the central library because I'm about to start the serious research, and I can't get a sense of which books I need just from the library web site, so I'm going to look at them instead of putting in requests to have them delivered to my branch. Plus, they have an exhibit on Harry Potter at the library that ends this weekend.

I'm in the nit-picky editing phase. I've done the major story revisions. Now I'm trying to make each scene better, and this is one of those areas where "good" is the enemy of "great." I have to figure out if the scene really is the best it can be, or if I'm stuck on what's on the page and can't imagine the other possibilities. There are a few places where it kind of feels like the characters are making speeches instead of having a conversation, but I can't tell if that's appropriate to the situation, since it is a situation where they're explaining things to each other and one character is way too polite to interrupt the other character. I may try a few writing exercises on some of these scenes and see what happens.

Now that I think about it, one of the problems is that a normally non-chatty person is the one making these speeches, and it's a case of it all pouring out at once because he hasn't really talked about it before and the person he's talking to is easy to talk to, the kind of person who gets people to talk easily and someone who might understand. So what I need to do is show the emotion behind the sudden gusher of words, which makes it seem more like an outpouring than a speech. If he's surprised that he's talking (and it's from his POV), then it works better.

I'm also worried about the humor levels. It's funny in my head when I can see the movements, facial expressions and body language, but not so funny on the page. That could mean I need to describe better, but in one case, I seem to be seeing the scenes as a movie instead of from the viewpoint of the character, so I see all her funny facial expressions and movements, but she wouldn't notice them in herself. She's almost a Lucille Ball kind of character who's always getting into and out of scrapes, but I don't think Lucille Ball would be funny from her own POV, and this character is the viewpoint character for this part of the story. Going into the POV of anyone else would give away too much of the plot because she has to solve the mystery while she's surrounded by bad guys. All the other characters in this plot line are bad guys or gray-area characters where we're always guessing about where they stand. Getting into their heads would reveal too much.

But I can't think more about this. I must dress and run to therapy. Busy, busy weekend, as after today's social and errand excursions I must clean house, iron my dress for the wedding and give myself a pedicure so that my feet can stand public scrutiny. Then tomorrow I've got rehearsal before the wedding, the wedding itself (which will also involve herding teenagers), the reception, where I'm serving cake, and then when I escape the wedding I'm having some friends over.

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