Monday, March 28, 2016

Digging In

I made it through Easter weekend. My reading on Friday night went well. I didn't stumble over any words, and no one took a cell phone call and walked away while I was doing it (like happened in my nightmare). I spent Saturday in a frenzy of cooking and house cleaning before collapsing to read and then go to bed early. Sunday, I woke before my alarm, so I was weirdly alert all morning for the three services I had to sing in.

Now I think it's caught up with me, along with some allergies. I'm giving myself one last day off. I'd thought about going up to Oklahoma today for a few days, but they started talking about bad storms there and here on the day I would have been driving home, so I thought I'd do better staying home. I'm planning to do a minor outing and some errands this afternoon, then do some serious planning for the work I'll do the rest of the week.

I'm on the draft where I really dig into each scene and figure out how to make that scene better -- more description, more action, more emotion, better words, fewer words, tighter dialogue, etc. One thing I've done in the past was find a theme song for each scene -- a piece of music that speaks to me about the scene or that conveys the emotion I want to convey -- and I use that to test the scene. When the scene makes me feel the way the piece of music makes me feel, it's right.

So, today's work will probably involve re-reading the first few scenes and picking theme songs, and then I'll sleep on it and then dig into rewriting tomorrow. Having the music and the scene in my head will allow me to create a vivid mental movie that may tell me additional things that need to happen.

While I may add a lot of stuff in this phase, I also lose a lot because there's a tendency to brainstorm in the writing and talk around something until I settle on an outcome. I can cut to the outcome, or there are times when some dialogue echoes thinking, and I can cut the thinking.

This all sounds pretty tedious, but I generally enjoy it because I'm not having to worry so much about what happens next, and I can feel the story getting better.

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