Writing reboot progress report, 24 May 2014

Four day weekends are great. I had yesterday off work because it was my fiance’s birthday, and Monday will be a bank holiday, so I’ve had the freedom to do what I want today instead of all the weekly chores. I’ve mostly spent it crocheting – I made almost a whole scarf from scratch this morning and continued with a blanket this afternoon.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been quite so productive regarding the writing (or the German, for that matter). There were a couple of times today where I had some time available before something happened (dinner, the F1 highlights on the BBC) when I considered having a go at this scene I’ve been trying to write, but decided to crochet instead. Crochet is simple and easy. I’ve got yarn, I’ve got a pattern or a stitch, I just keep going with what I’m doing until there’s a line in the skin of my left forefinger where the yarn goes and I decide I should probably stop. Writing is difficult. Hence the procrastination.

Today’s music is CN Lester’s album Ashes. The title track and a couple of others are available on Soundcloud, if you’re interested. They’re good.

Thoughts and Plans:

I’ve crossed out everything I wrote yesterday. I’m not deleting it, in case there’s a line in there I decide later I want to keep, but it’s got the strikethrough on Word. The problem was that it became a big info dump. What Laik believes, her history, what the Governor is doing and why. That’s a problem, because it’s not in Laik’s character to be that open and because it’s pretty boring, big paragraphs of exposition.

What I need to do is cut it right down and work out the essentials. Laik isn’t going to spell things out for Fiarra, she’s going to assume Fiarra can fill in the gaps herself and she’s not going to go talking about her difficult childhood. I need to have her give a far briefer, less involved explanation, then bring it back to where the argument began: with Laik asking Fiarra why she was snooping. Then I can bring things to the resolution of the argument and start things moving in the direction I need them to move, which is to have Fiarra realise there’s more depth to Laik than she gave her credit for.

I need to start building up to the next key plot point afterwards, but I’ll worry about that once I’ve got this one done. And I need to leave scope for Fiarra to learn more details and motives later. For now, if I keep quiet about why Laik really supports the Governor’s goals – to keep Narricol out of the island’s affairs – then I can leave this cause morally ambiguous, and have Fiarra wondering if it’s worth it. This will allow me to keep Fiarra viewing her own cause as a black and white thing – bring down the Governor, end slavery – rather than wondering if it’s the lesser of two evils.

For now, though, I have clear goals for what I write next:

  • Laik gives a brief explanation of her goals and the Governor’s goals
  • Laik asks Fiarra what she was doing again
  • Fiarra tells her – she was looking for records of her friends
  • Laik tells Fiarra that such records don’t exist, but she can look in person around town.
  • Fiarra is surprised that things went better than expected.

Simple enough. Starting writing 21:36.

Progress:

Finishing at 22:05 with 474 words. I’m much happier today with what I’ve written, and I’ve checked off my bullet points above. It’s a more positve end to things, with the hints of the Governor’s and Laik’s motives without spelling it out. I can work on that later, by developing Fiarra and Laik’s relationship through debates on their positions on various issues later on.

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2 thoughts on “Writing reboot progress report, 24 May 2014

  1. Characters who aren’t open about themselves are hard to write about sometimes. I mean, how do you get the relevant details into the story at all when 1) the character won’t talk to any of the other characters about it, and 2) you want to avoid those massive info dumps?

    1. You’ve got it spot on there. I don’t really need Laik’s backstory, and I should manage to get her motivations in a bit later, but it is a little frustrating to know stuff about her I won’t be able to include.

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