Monday, February 11, 2008

Step Forward, Step Back

Frozen Lake, Early Spring, Algonquin Park,
A.Y. Jackson,
oil on canvas, 1914,
National Gallery of Canada.

Early Spring? I wish.

You don't want to know how much snow I shovelled this weekend.

You don't want to know how many words I cranked out/flowed like a freshet from my febrile pen either.

Suffice it to say I'm past the 50,000 mark in word count and therefore Lillie and I are on the downhill slide.

Time for me to grease the runners on the sled.

The latest events in Lillie's life involve a riot, a pipe bomb, a brawl, another exorcism, hawt kisses, a curse stone conundrum and sabotage to her car which dumps her in a flooded creek.

Put like that, her story sounds all very episodic, doesn't it?

One of the purposes of revision is to make sure that a story is not just a string of episodes, a mere sequence of events and adventures.

Narrative is development, not repetition.

Lillie is becoming sick and tired, frustrated and seriously pissed at being forced on the defensive, at stuff leaping out at her, at reacting to events.

Troubles tend to do that to you.

Josephine Damian has an excellent post on three-part structure.

I hope to apply some of that advice on revision.

She's also running an interesting critique/contest.

Chris has a neat writing contest going on as well.

Rudyard Kipling claimed that "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."

If you want to keep track of how much your addiction costs you (and you should), Mark Terry's Feb 7th Part 8 post offers a simple and practical method, applicable to either spread sheet or lined exercise scribbler.


ChristineEldin said...

Thanks for the shout out!

I heart Lillie. I hope she will survive what you're doing to her.
heh heh

Demon Hunter said...


Your story sounds so wonderful. I cannot wait to read it! :*) That 3 part structure is very important. I am taking a look at mine every day I edit. I miss you on my blog. Haven't seen you in a while... :*)

BernardL said...

It was sunny and in the sixties all weekend here in the Bay Area. :) Thanks for the links. The three stages remind me of the way books used to be written. Unfortunately, a hundred pages of back story would probably garner the famous three word query response of 'Not for us'. I'm glad your work is flowing well.

StarvingWriteNow said...

As long as Lillie doesn't do a "24" on us (you know, Jack Bauer gets blown up with nary a scratch on him, etc...) then keep piling the stress on her! Sounds like fun!

December/Stacia said...

Yay for over 50k!

Bernita said...

Chris, Lillie is a survivor.

Thank you, my Demon.Sometimes I can't think of anything remotely intelligent to say and just lurk.

Thank you, Bernard.
Sunny here too -at 0 degrees F.

No fear, WriteNow. She gets scratched, bent, battered and bruised - just not broken.

I hope that last K's go faster than the first, December.

Billy said...

"Narrative is development, not repetition." So true ... and so easy to forget when we want things to "wrap up" or dread the revision process.

Good luck with Lillie :)

Chumplet said...

I'm printing out those suggestions and keeping them in my folder for reference. It makes it all seem so simple, doesn't it?

Ric said...

Congrats on the milestone.

Lillie is feisty enough to survive anything (and it sounds like you're giving her plenty....)

5 degrees (has warmed up some) but clear blue Michigan Skies.

raine said...

hawt kisses

Ohhh, I hope it's with Johnnie! ;-)

Congrats on being on the downslide. Watch those trees on the hill--they jump out at ya.

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, everyone talks about the three act structure - I must be the only one who uses a five act one. Read too many classic plays, it seems. ;)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Billy.
Since I write lean, I look forward to revision.

Ric, thank you. Sounds like our weather is similar.
Nothing displays character like disaster, and since this is the first book, the primary situation, I though Id dunk her in head first.

Hee, Raine!
Of course. Lillie's the monogamous type.I haven't decided yet how much hawter things will get, but it's set up so it can get very hawt.
And I just avoided one of those trees.
Almost had Johnnie do something really, materially, stupid. Lillie would have no use for someone stupid.
BTW, December has up a great post on the hero that confirms my instinct about brains and such.

Bernita said...

Eh, Sandra, I was very glad to see that advice.

Bernita said...

Gabriele, I haven't applied the template yet, so I don't know where mine fits, or if it does.
I think though, there's more than one structural form that works.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't want to figure out the actual cost. I like to pretend I'm earning some side money.

Shauna Roberts said...

Sounds as if you have no problem with sagging middles. Hurray for passing 50 K and may the second half go quickly.

SzélsőFa said...

Congratulations on the progress and good luck in finishing your story!

Bernita said...

Tax deducts, Charles.

Shauna, thank you. I hope it won't need a tummy tuck.

Thank you, Szelsofa.

Ello said...

I can't wait to hear more about Lillie's adventures. Sorry she is sick and tired of all the troubles you are flinging her way, but she knows it just makes her stronger! ;o)
And congrats on making 50,000! I am so excited to hear how you are coming on to the end! You know how badly I want to read it!

The Anti-Wife said...

Congratulations on 50K. That's a great achievement.

Bernita said...

Ello, you don't know how much your encouragement about Lillie means to me.
Lillie's been quite circumspect. I suspect she'll start taking names and kicking ass.

Thank you,AW. Only 35 or 40 K to go.

writtenwyrdd said...

Yay for you and yay for Lilie! Keep applying butt to seat and crank it out. (Because we all want to read it when you're done.)

writtenwyrdd said...

PS, I had snow to mid thigh in the drive this morning and spent nearly an hour shovelling after the plow truck left.

Bernita said...

Written, this winter reminds me of one about ten years ago, where we shovelled nearly every day.

"Because we all want to read it when you're done"
Thank you.So much!
~takes fresh courage and plows on~

Sam said...

We're having an early spring.
Ahhhhh. Love the sunshine.

Bernita said...

Sam, you're a cruel woman.

Josephine Damian said...

Bernita, thanks for the linky love!

50K words? Woot! I can see somebody's been scratching the right "itch" and it's paying off.

With about 350 words of my own WIP written, I guess you could say I have some catching up to do.

I did get 8 pages done yesterday on a 25 page term paper. Sometimes I've got to bite the grad school bullet and put the creative writing on the back burner - I can't wait till I graduate.

cs harris said...

Ah yes, passing that halfway mark is always a rush.

Vesper said...

Congrats on the 50k! A downhill slide? Good for you! :-)
As you put it in the post, it does sound episodic, but I'm sure that it's not quite that when you write it...
Thank you for the links!

Bernita said...

Always good stuff on your blog, Josephine.

And we need those to carry us over the next bare spot, CS.

Now if I can only keep the momentum,Vesper.

cyn said...

thanks for this excellent post and links as always, bernita. and yay on journeying with lillie so far. i think that's exciting!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Cyn!