Yes, I know the saying is ‘one step forward, two steps back’, but that indicates lack of progress, and today I want to celebrate progress! As you’ve probably noticed from the recent posts on the blog, several of the ladies (including yours truly) have been diligently been working toward the goal of writing a new and improved, shiny and updated draft of the first acts of our WIPs. Mine required writing some brand-new scenes, revising some existing scenes to be told from a different point of view, and tying it all together. Sure, stitching together all those disparate parts made it resemble Frankenstein’s monster, waiting for the lightning strike to spark life in it. But still, PROGRESS! And CELEBRATION! And HAPPY DANCE!
The writers’ afterglow lasted all of eight hours, and I had slept through six of them. I was in the shower when scenes started replaying in my head, turning over to reveal flaws, forgotten plans, and (lord help us) so much sitting and chatting! Some of my fellow ladies have talked about scenes with their characters sipping tea and chatting about the story. Just to be different, and maybe to start an insomnia epidemic, I gave my characters coffee for their chats. In no less than three different scenes.
It also occurred to me that I had a really integrated plan for introducing character Sarah’s talent for card counting, which I proceeded to ignore completely when I wrote the darn thing. When I did mention card counting (and yes, it was in a sitting and chatting scene), I used it in reference to poker, when in fact my character will use it when playing Black Jack. Who knows what other problems I’ll see when I go back to the file to reread it in a few days.
But here’s the good part (progress, remember?). I recognized these major flaws in Act I within eight hours. So I have 30k words of a reasonably progressing and escalating first act, a lot of issues to fix, and the ability to recognize and address them. Two, steps forward, one step back.
What steps forward have you taken on your writing or creative project recently? What steps back have you taken, and what’s your plan for fixing the problems?