Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Back back back

The last couple of days have been a change, writing-wise.

Sunday night I had a sudden wave-of-brain, and realized I'd stepped the wrong way in the story. Well, it's first draft, so not wrong exactly, but not best. If I took it another way the later plot would go in a much better direction, include the characters and settings I'd rather be exploring, etc.

So. Halted headlong progress. The 1500 or so words I wrote on vacation will likely stay buried in the GhostGirl2 file--I'm now working on GhostGirl3. I rewound several chapters, found the misstep, and cut about 1800 words yesterday. More will be hacked today. I also wrote 900 new words, though, and will write some more cool new it evens out. Better now than a much more tangled later. Much better for plot.

In going back over the old stuff, though, I discovered a few things (AGAIN) about Things I Do on First Draft.

Annoying things:
--My characters breathe a lot. A lot a lot. Take a slow breath, a shaky breath, exhale a long breath. Struggle to breathe. Mind, that last is a fairly important issue for my MC during some parts, but the rest? Geez. We know you're breathing, Nat, you're still talking to us. Stop. It.

--Dialogue tag repeats. I cannot believe how often I do this. "Blah blah blah," X said. He did some random action. Every time I read through a section I have to do a delete on all those "X said He" bits. {sigh} Thank goodness for later drafts.

Positive things:
--I made myself laugh, reading bits, and I'd totally forgotten I'd written some of them and was pleased. This is a good sign, for later. After cleanup.

So what do you do in first draft, and always have to fix later? Do your characters nod too much? Walk? Grin? Do you have to yank out useless adverbs?


Julianne Douglas said...


My characters don't breathe--they sigh. I can't tell you how many sighs I cut out on the last edit!

Now the sad question is--is this a reflection of my outlook on life? This days, it just might be. {sigh}

Congrats on your "wave-of-brain." I'm glad it was things you could fix.

Hélène Boudreau said...

Best you caught it now then much further into your story. Phew!

My little obsession is sending pangs of X or waves of Y or shots of Z through my character's body.


How else do you describe those sensations? I'm sure my MC wished I'd figure it out, though.

Nice colour choice. :-)

Jenny said...

My characters turn to each other to say things. All. The. Time.

Like you said, "thank goodness for later drafts"!

Julie Elizabeth said...

I was just thinking about this exact topic, as I'm editing my newest project...

My characters roll their eyes. At anything. I'm thinking that's a reflection on their creator...

*eye roll*


Susan Adrian said...

Julianne: Oh, mine sigh too. But then they're teenagers--I figure at least some of that is accurate. {g}

Helene: Oooh! One I DON'T do! Yet, of course. Thanks on the colors. I just couldn't wait until I was done with GG to change off brown.

{turning to Jenny}: Oh, really? Yeah, mine look at each other a lot too. Look and breathe. And sigh.

Julie: This is a YA, yes? A certain amount of eye-rolling is probably allowed. As long as it's not their only reaction. {s}

Carol A. Spradling said...

Hi Susan,

Wow, bright.

Hmm, my characters tend to look through slitted eyes a lot. That should clear up with the new drops. :D

Susan Adrian said...

There, Carol--I made it a bit darker for you. It is better. :)

Julie Elizabeth said...

This one is acutually adult. I wanted it to be a novel.

It had other plans....

Like it's been said - thank goodness for editing...