Nancy: All About That Pace

You’ve probably noticed that we here at 8LW are not big on resolutions. We’d rather talk about the new year as a chance to assess where we’ve been, decide where we’re going, and set some new goals to help us get there. In that spirit, I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to work on pacing.

Yesterday, Jilly discussed her writing journey and plans in terms of tennis, which was apropos, as she was (and probably would still be) a very good player. I’m going to discuss my plans for the upcoming years in terms of running, not because I am a very good runner. Au contraire! I am a terrible runner. Continue reading

Nancy: Making the Cut

Act II Edited Page

Last week, I wrote this post about finding out that Act II of my WIP had gotten away from me and ended up at 41k words, about 8k-10k more words than my target for the act. The length of acts is important for pacing, tension, and keeping the story moving. The prospect of cutting a quarter of the words out of this one before handing it in for a critique seemed daunting.

This week, I can report that I have tamed the beast! At least for first draft purposes. My target was to get down to 35k words or less. After my edits, I made it to just over 34k. I had to ‘kill some of my darlings’ along the way, not the least of which was a scene that I actually kind of loved. Continue reading

Jilly: The Baby and the Bath-Water

I’ve become a different reader since I started writing fiction. I find it much harder to lose myself in a story. I’m more analytical, more aware of the choices the author has made, and much harder to please. If I read something I love (or strongly dislike), it niggles me and I pick at it until I figure out why. My husband is also a keen reader. He enjoys detective stories and police procedurals and he’s grown used to me quizzing him about what he’s reading, what’s good about it and what’s not working for him. I try to apply what I learn to my own writing, but it’s easier said than done.   Continue reading