Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

January 13, 2013

Productive hiatus

Filed under: administraviata,wordsmithery — Tags: , , — lexifab @ 6:09 pm

Things have been quiet here this week while I divide my evenings between catching up on the household accounts – which are finicky and time-consuming because of the investment thing – and tidying up a short story for sale. It’s another failed competition entry that I couldn’t quite get right within the three thousand world limit. Having added a few hundred more has cleared up the murky situation-building, but perhaps at the expense of the pacing. I’m doing another pass tonight to try to tighten everything up.

I’m taking a break from the novel while I rework the outline. The last couple of chapters have meandered because I was winging it under the assumption that I could get away with it. Not so, it seems. The last five thousand or so words represent probably two thousand’s worth of action and relevant description. The rest of it is overt statement of characters’ thoughts and unfocused dialogue. I’m not the best judge, of course, but I suspect that I’d be repulsed as a reader.

I’ve decided to extend the break from the manuscript for another week (mainly because I still haven’t caught up on the accounts, and there are real-world ramifications for not keeping them up to date). Instead of short story writing as my backup activity, I’m going to nail down the outline at a chapter by chapter level, after which I will break down at least the next few scenes to their vital components in terms of plot, character and setting development.

Outline-first is an interesting way of working with which I am still not at all comfortable. I’m absolutely convinced that it’s necessary though, at least for this project. I find it much too easy to wander off the road and go bush-bashing when I don’t have the road map right in front of me. So, one more week of prep and planning, and then (I hope) a charge at full speed towards the finish line. I still have hopes of making my self-imposed deadline of the end of March for a finished manuscript, if for no other reason than that will give me a window to take advantage of the CSFG’s novel-critiquing group this year. Having my peers brutally tear my precious text to screeching shreds is highly desirable, apparently.

In an administrative aside: I’m finally going to start using tags, as of this post. For some reason I’ve never bothered before, but the Category list is now getting cumbersome. If I were very diligent, I would convert a bunch of Categories to tags, but that may be more effort than it’s worth I’m willing to make.

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