Sunday, May 31, 2009

banging on chp 2

I'm now focused on re-working chapter 2.

Re-reading the chapter reminded me a little of the fever I was writing under during NaNo. I pounded out this draft, with little attention to the language. It's pretty sparse. Next time I do a first draft, I'm going to take some more deep breaths and think about the words more carefully. I was really concentrating on getting from point A to B, and not so much on HOW I got there.

That said, maybe that's not a bad thing. Revision is a more reflective process, so maybe it is the "correct" time for me to attend to the craft of writing.

This is a long way of saying that chapter 2 needs some work.

Oh, and I can now when the interviewer of the future asks me, the famous author, how much research I do, I can say honestly, "some."

Liz goes to a military base for a rally early in her campaign. Originally, she was going to one in Arizona where her original radio show aired, so I Googled "Arizona Military Bases." Curiously, there are only two army bases in that state, and neither of their servers were working that day. However, I learned from other sites that one is only a testing facility and the other only trains intelligence officers. I need Liz to visit a base where soldiers are deployed and leave their families behind.

Now I'm thinking Liz visits Camp Pendleton in California, since Liz lives in L.A. It's a huge base and lots of Marines are deployed from there. I need to read up a bit on it, and possibly review some speeches other candidates have done on military bases to see how it would work.

So, fact-finding melds with complete fantasy. Fun!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

At what point does the dead horse protest?

I'm still whacking at chapter one of Liz, and I think it's coming along.

But, as I was editing along, a very strange sub-plot occurred to me. Really strange. Like, mythological-strange. But I like it. I like it a lot, and I think I may keep it. It's just kooky enough to make the rest of the kookiness make sense. Why not? It is fiction, after all. I'm currently reading a chick-lit book about Greek Gods who now live in modern-day London and can't get jobs (Gods Behaving Badly). Why can't I have a little weirdness?

Even Shakespeare did it:

Hamlet--There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

So, I'm in good company. Right?

I know. I'm only right if it works in the book. But now it's fun again. :)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Editing the first chapter

I hadn't realized how long it has been since I've posted here. Naughty Maren.

I have been working on Liz, by re-writing the first chapter. It is beginning to take shape--a shape that is quite different than the original. I've moved a lot of episodes around to try to paint a picture of Liz Stratton and her crew before the "beginning" of the story, which is much more difficult than I thought it was going to be.

Here's the "craft"part. It's different than the "I'm a crazy writer running on caffeine and adrenaline, get out of my way!" rush that I get when I'm plowing through a first draft. This is the "I'm a crazy editor, hunched over the draft wrapping my mind around storytelling, plot and character, stay the heck out of my office!" focus, which I am also good at (writing teacher for over 10 years), but which I don't always apply to my own work.

I have come up with a few goals. I am going to the "Fiction Carreer--a.k.a.Kris and Dean Show" writing workshop in September, and I'd like to have a polished draft of Liz to take with me. To do this, I'd like to devote about 2 hours a day, 5 days a weekover the summer to re-writing the draft and possibly working on new stuff, too. I may be dreaming, but it's good to dream.