Sunday, January 12, 2003

When I participated in National Novel Writing Month last November, I kept nearly daily updates in an online journal, which helped keep me thinking about the writing, and sort of kept me accountable. I also found that writing out the problems helped me to think through and solve them. So excuse me if I blather on about some of my current writing projects in this journal.... I figure some people might be interested to get a glimpse into the process, anyway.

Right now I'm writing what I intended to be a chapter book for young readers--the type that usually only have one fairly simple plot, instead of complex sub-plots. But I'm to a point in the book where the main thing that needs to happen is that the character needs to hide a secret habit, and get more and more paranoid that people will find out, etc. But I just realized that I have nothing for her to be doing during all that deepening of her problem! It seems like anything I write for her to do--going to school, hanging out with friends, or whatever--will give me a platform for her paranoia but will not further the plot in and of itself. Now I'm wondering if I should come up with a sub-plot to keep her busy on the surface while her main problem grows stronger. Or maybe it's a pacing issue...maybe I don't need to show everything but can just skip over it with text like, "The next two weeks were the worst of my life. Every day I was sure that someone would find out...." Anyway, I'm sure I can come up with something (actually, I already have a showdown scene at the end that I could start planting the seeds for now), but it's certainly not as easy as just sticking to my synopsis, which only discusses the problem and not the details of how it plays out. I was also hoping to get through an entire draft of this before my writing retreat in 2 weeks, but the book seems to be growing on me (I thought it might be 60 pages, but now I'm thinking maybe 90+) & I would be surpised if I can do it! Especially with my younger son's 2nd birthday this week and a few celebrations to keep us busy this week. On the other hand, I'm pretty happy with it overall, which is more than I can say for some of the things I've written!

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