Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Getting it wrong - and making it better
As an example, I have done the following:
Had a situation where the h & h need to get urgent help from the police...and are dirty, cut, and hungry.
Which of these problems should they sort out first and in what order?
Needless to say, I got it wrong. They had showers, ate a casserole, then called the police. I started 'widening my eyes in disbelief' as I read it. Can't they multitask?
How could they function, without dealing with the most stressful item first? How could they have thoughts in the shower about anything else than the most pressing question, and how could they sit and talk, without dealing with it? It read wong. Their emotions didn't make sense.
Anyway, after frantic rewriting, they called the police, washed and dealt with their medical issues, then ate something. This meant that rather than being clean and full and still stressing about bringing in the big guns, they were able to stop flip-flopping about emotionally and sit down at the table knowing they'd done what needed to be done to continue the story. The emotions read clearer, better, and the connection between them is more real and honest.
Five chapters in now, and continuing to tell their story, rather than barrel along the plot. I'm hoping I've got it right, but am worried because when I sent this story out I was confident, and couldn't see the tangle as I'm seeing it now.
Read, revise, polish and re-read. That's my motto this month.
Then re-read again before sending them out into the fray again. No crossed fingers, no superstitions, just solid application to the craft of writing, and hopefully this time, success.
Posted by Sally Clements at 1:27 PM