My brother is still reading my vomit draft. He has shared with me only one thought so far after he got 30 pages in and that was, unsurprisingly, that I could add more detail and expand the scenes more. In particular he felt that the first scene where the soul eater brood is introduced was somewhat confusing in places.
I don’t feel that writing fight scenes has ever been my strength. So even though I thought I was clear this time around, I know I need to go over all my fight scenes with a fine tooth comb and consider what I am actually showing the reader.
After having read this article on building tension in standoffs, I think I should also keep that in mind when I go over those scenes as well. I wanted this book to have an element of suspense to it and the core of suspense really is dependent on the amount of tension that’s built throughout the story. It’s supposed to keep you on the edge of your seat as you wait to see what happens next.
With that said, I think this article on writing nail-biting scenes is also worth keeping in mind for this topic. In the first article the author discusses mostly about what the characters are doing, but this article talks about building and contrasting emotion throughout the scene for each character in it. Who is afraid? Who is angry? Who is menacing? Who isn’t? And he talks about using descriptive language to build upon that as the scene moves along.
I really like this author’s blog posts because he doesn’t just discuss the process of writing or revising, but he shows examples with his own work so you can see what exactly he’s talking about. It makes the topic feel more hands on. He even has an article on layering which resonated with me and I feel that my story needs in order to work. I did try to do this while writing the vomit draft but now after having read these three articles I’ll be able to revise with greater focus on what I want my scenes to do for both the story and the reader.
Honestly I think finding this has been more useful to me than the NaNo’s “Now What?” Months page has been so far. Don’t get me wrong, they have good advice but it feels like it’s geared more towards those who are ready to publish right now rather than those who are still trying to polish what they have. I am no where near that point at this moment.
It’s frustrating, a part of me wants to start making changes but another part of me says I should wait for my brother to finish reading the vomit draft before I do that. He does have a busy life and it will take some time to get through it all. I know that. I don’t want to waste his time and I do want to know his thoughts on the book. He did study in college to be a teacher after all so discussing the book with him for the first revision should be valuable.
I guess I’m just worried that if I start revising now before he’s finished reading it will make any comments or advice irrelevant and cause him to feel his time was wasted. Although I plan on keeping a copy of the vomit draft so maybe that won’t happen. Whatever he has to say about it, I can go back to the vomit draft and look at it and then compare it to whatever revisions I make if I were to start now. I could see if I saw the same issues on my own and whether or not I’ve addressed them. I suppose in that light it wouldn’t be a waste.
Once I have the first revised draft complete, I’ll ask someone else to read it. Get fresh eyes on it and another opinion. I just didn’t realize it would feel like this part takes forever. There seems to be a lot of waves of activity and then extended lulls. Stop and go. It’s driving me nuts. Do all writers go through this and feel this way during revision of a novel?
My mind is already trying to push forward with ideas for another book. And a part of me says I should just start writing that vomit draft while waiting for my brother. If nothing else it will keep me busy and writing. I don’t know. I feel like I’m stagnating here. I haven’t even really been blogging much lately. But thinking? So much thinking. The urge to start writing some of these thoughts down for the next book is really starting to get to me. I must have sat on this first book for years with just the opening scene in my head – honestly it was mostly just the opening line with Thomas. This is different. Too many scenes in my head for it already.
I don’t know, maybe writing something else in the same world as the first book will help me with the revision process of it? All I know is I feel like I’ve got some quasi-block going on and I need to break it somehow. Maybe even practice with layering on something fresh would be good.