Windows into the Imagination

Friday, July 22, 2011

Status of the Empire: Writing Follies

Have you ever had the feeling that you've forgotten something? You're packing for a long trip and something nibbles at the back of your mind, some tiny something that you know you've missed?

I have been working on chapter 1 of The Rebels. For the last three weeks.

Don't get me wrong. I haven't been suffering from writer's block. The amount of effort I've put into it has been as much as I would in a normal writing week. Which is quite a lot.

I've written, revised, edited, moved around like puzzle pieces in search of a home, and each version smells sweeter than the last, but that little niggling goblin was still hacking pieces out of my brain, trying to get my attention.

The action was explosive. Like a rollercoaster ride complete with minor ordinance. The heart; Adrian's heart finally shone through in glorious color.

Descriptions, usually the bane of my writing existence, were splashed with artistic, if not brilliance, but at least acceptably recognizable shapes.

But there was still something missing.

The humor that snaked through the previous book and gave it life in dark places, was missing because I had reduced Bryce's role. Yes, poor Bryce was the comic relief, but in this story, the main burden of that had to be shifted to Adrian and his growing snarkiness.

It shouldn't have been that hard. Adrian is snarky and acidly funny in my head, but for some reason he just would not do it on the page.

I knew that this nagging thread ran throughout all the chapters until the scene where Adrian ran into Argus, or rather Argus's fist, which is the normal way of things with them.

So, I've been playing with character dialogs that took Adrian out of the story and explored his snarky side. And it is finally bleeding into the main story. Thank you, Adrian.

I will have to make slight readjustments with Adrian's growing snarkiness. It feels like he's finally 'out of the bag' and god help anyone who stands in his way, but maybe I can finally get back to...what chapter was I at before this meanderous journey, oh yes, chapter 22.

One thing I have learned is that while I play god in this universe I've created, the characters are usually right. The freedom Adrian has to be snarky outside the story is different than in the story because the circumstance has higher stakes and it is more formal, at least until Adrian meets Argus. But that's a whole different story.

All I can say is whew! And hopefully I can get past the first few chapters now and finally finish "The Rebels" on schedule.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it's really interesting, Elizabeth -- and a bit comforting -- to see how you're wrestling with the chemistry and balance between your characters. I've had to do three drafts of my second novel for that very reason. I still have a couple more rewrites to go before I think I'll have it where it needs to be.