Easing Into the Additions

Since last time we met there wasn’t a lot of writing going down–unless you count all the note taking I was making for my recap of the pilot of Fear the Walking Dead, which comes out later tonight my time.  No, after writing seventeen hundred words for the novel, and another fifteen hundred words (for notes, mind you) for my recap, I was all storied out.

What I did was look at the novel and think about structure change, because I’m nuts like that.  I see something and I usually want to leave it alone, but just as I did with A For Advanced, I tinkered with it a bit after I had a much better idea of where the novel was going.  So you do reach a point where you can look at layout and structure and think, “Now, this would look much better as a stand-alone . . . something.”

That’s what I did with Chapter Thirteen.  I gave it a look, realized that the first three scenes fit together, and then looked at the last few scenes and realized they really were a completely different beast altogether.  So I did this:

I tinkered, 'cause that's what I do.

I tinkered, ’cause that’s what I do.

The last three scenes of Chapter Thirteen became Chapter Fourteen, meaning Thirteen ended with Kerry flying through the air with the greatest of ease–but unlike Annie, who doesn’t need a broom to fly, his landing wasn’t so great.  That’s where I make a break and put in the new Chapter Fourteen, because it’ll open up with someone we know waking up in Bed #2, Bay #1–I don’t believe I’m giving away too much of a spoiler.  That was where I put the last three scenes of the old chapter–

But now there are four scenes, so what gives, Cassie?  Check the time line in the image and look at the title, and remember what Mea Culpa means, and you may figure out what’s going on.  Let’s just say that scene is needed, and it’ll help draw to a close something that’s going on.  Sort of.  Because nothing ever ends here at Salem.

But this wasn’t the only changing I made.  I went in here, too:

Here being a chapter I talk about but haven't worked upon.

Here being a chapter I talk about but haven’t worked upon.

The now Chapter Sixteen is the still the first chapter of Part Give, and it’s also the Salem Overnight chapter which, up until last night, possessed one scene and nothing more.  No more, I say.  I added three more scenes and finalized a map that goes with this chapters–map, you say?  Yep.  I love maps.  There’s a lot of mapping going on in this chapter, and that’s one of the reasons I have a scene called Planing on PEI, because I always know where my students are.  What’s PEI?  Look it up, you’ll find it rather easily.

With all this work finished I went back and renumbered all the chapters and the chapter title pages, and called it a night.  Because my writing for the day was through.  I’ve said it before:  not all writing is writing.  Sometimes it’s research, sometimes it’s creating characters, and sometimes it’s plotting out your novel by getting your chapters in line with what you’re thinking.

And right now I have a far clearer view of where I’m going.

Returning to the Intimate

Since I’d written in the morning, there wasn’t anything written yesterday afternoon or evening–which is good, because I spent most of the evening in something of a carb haze, as I’d went out for a late lunch/early dinner sort of thing, loaded up on bread and pasta, and then felt like I was going to fall into a coma the rest of the night.  It was a good thing that Breaking Bad was on, otherwise I’d have probably crashed by eight PM and woke up about 2 AM.

The closest I came to writing last night was readjusting the time line of the story.  There are things that needed to get tightened up, and I sluggishly went through that about the time someone was blowing up a nursing home on my television.


Out with the old, and getting ready for the new.

The last chapter was all about protecting people and trying to stay alive.  And, in the case of one girl, sorta venting your death wishes in her direction, but we can’t be all sunshine and unicorns all the time.  This chapter is gonna be different.  It’s almost all gonna be scene from Annie’s point of view, with the exception of the scene All Clear, which really shows things from Isis’ point of view–though I’m actually rethinking how I want to write it now.  I like the idea of the whole chapter being Annie-centric, and I’ve already decided how to go about writing the scene.  Short, sweet, and to the point.

And it keeps the chapter on Annie’s point of view the whole time.

The interesting thing is that Kerry is actually in four of the five scenes as well, but he says almost nothing throughout the chapter.  Needless to say I didn’t kill him, but since the second scene is Back to Bed #2, astute readers will realize that Bed #2 seems to be the one he gyrates towards, and it only makes sense that we’ll find out what actually happened out in Selena’s Meadow, and just how badly he was hurt.  The last scene, Dreams On the Ward, it probably going to be the most intimate I’ve written, and it will start to answer some of the questions about how Annie knew Kerry before they met in London.  But only will it start:  there will be more head scratching, I’m sure, and it won’t be until sometime in the Third Act I give up all the answers.

Funny how I work that way.

In a way I’m glad the Attack chapter it over.  It’s been just a little over a month since I started, and it was a bit of a slog.  I’ve been through some personal issues during this time, and there’s nothing worse than dealing with your life while trying to create other lives.  Though this is the stock in trade for writers:  you put aside your own emotional and mental baggage for a while so you can develop emotional and mental baggage for your characters.  It’s totally tit for tat, and if you have to suffer through that stuff, it’s only fair you make your characters share.

It makes them so much more believable when they’re crying over nothing, don’t you think?

Trials and Triskaidekaphobialations

We’ve made it through another full moon, the Honey Moon or Strawberry Moon–take your pick–this time, and not only that, but it was a Friday the 13th as well.  (Neat fact:  the last time there was a Honey/Strawberry Moon on Friday the 13th was in 1919, and there won’t be another until 2098.  If you missed out last night, you’re gonna need a TARDIS to see the next one.)

I never pay attention to the Friday the 13th stuff.  Generally I’ve had good times on that date, and since it happens more frequently that you’d imagine (only one this year, but last year there were two and next year there will be three, with two of them happening in February and March, back-to-back), I figured it’s best to just get on with your day than live your life waiting for something bad to happen.

I got a lot done yesterday.  One, I blogged, which is normal.  Two, I did some shopping with my daughter, which isn’t as normal as it used to be, since I’m only back home in Red State Indiana about three to four weeks out of the year these days.  She bought lots of manga, then we chatted over coffee and sushi, and she woke me up when I started to doze during Pacific Rim, which I just had to see–again.

You can't see it clearly, but I'm holding a Sailor Moon manga with Sailor Mars on the cover.  Gotta love a school girl who kicks ass in heels.

You can’t see it clearly, but I’m holding a Sailor Moon manga with Sailor Mars on the cover. Gotta love a school girl who kicks ass, with fire, in heels.

I also wrote–a lot.  I wrote close to a thousand words before making my post yesterday, and then I not only did I finish the scene before going to bed, but that was also chapter and part as well.  So Part Four, Chapters Thirteen and Fourteen are in the bag, and Part Five, Chapter Fifteen awaits.

A lot of "First Drafts" behind, a bunch of "To dos" ahead.  It almost looks like I'm really writing.

A lot of “First Drafts” behind, a bunch of “To dos” ahead. It almost looks like I’m really writing.

In finishing the scene, my calculations indicate that I wrote close to two thousand words yesterday.  That’s a lot for me–in fact, that’s what my daily totals used to be when I was writing full time and not having to screw around with this thing called “work”.

My only concern at this point is, believe it or not, word count.  Part Four ended up at 31,646 words.  I’ve a few parts ahead–four to be exact–and Part Seven is gonna get, in the words of a certain person I used to know, “wordy”.  I would not be surprised if the six chapters there end up well beyond thirty thousand words, though I will do my best to keep the scenes short and sweet.

Act One ran one hundred and fifty thousand words; it’s looking like Act Two is gonna be about the same, and I’m already a fifth of the way there.  I mean, I suppose I could count this as a good thing, because it means I have a long, complicated story with lots of detail and a couple of protagonists who love to hug after their zombie killing exploits, and I’m not afraid to get there out there.  It’s a hell of a lot better than saying, “I got nuttin'”, right?

Yeah.  I’ll see if I’m still telling myself that in another seventy thousand words . . .