Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kind of Boring Discussion on Rewrite Goals

This may not interest anyone, but once again, it helps me to write it out.

The novel rewrite is proceeding. I'm done with Act I. I don't know how much better it is (if any), but it's longer by about 25%, and that's with at least two short scenes cut out. The basic problems I tried to address: introduce some major characters and their motivations earlier, give the protagonists and their relationships a little more time to breathe (the first part of the first draft was a NaNoWriMo project, so it was a little breathless, with major story elements elided), flesh out the generic first act climax with detail specific to the setting.

Since the first act climax takes place in Phoenix, I hit up an online acquaintance for help. He came up with some pretty good ideas, but in the end, I decided not to use his suggestion, setting my big action set piece not on Camelback Mountain, but in Patriots Square Park downtown.

Moving on to the second act now. The second act has different problems, mostly caused by my wandering around as I tried to find the storyline and fill time between the end of Act I and the Act II climax. Major goals here are much the same as in Act I, only more so: eliminate the extraneous elements and false starts, the scenes and subplots that end up going nowhere, while fleshing out the parts that push the story forward. First reader reaction to the Act II climax was that it felt a little rote. This says to me that I emphasized the action too much, while losing track of the emotional connection to the characters. Goal: play up the emotions more while still retaining the big explosions.

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