Idea-ology


Not even my new MacBook Air is helping me to generate more ideas.

As I mentioned before, I’m working on some pacing issues in my novel, Secrets of the Sari Chest. Secrets is told primarily from two points of view. Eighteen year old Adi’s POV is primarily in the present day. Lakshmi’s POV (Adi’s mother) begins in the past, but then catches up to the present day about halfway through the novel. I primarily switch between these two POVs (Adi & Lakshmi) throughout the novel, but I also have brief interludes of POVs from five other characters.

I promise you– though it sounds confusing here– it works really well for the novel.

Pacing is challenging for me because I don’t want to have too many chapters in a row in the same POV. Nor do I want to have too many chapters in a row told in the past.

So I’ve spent the past 2 weeks racking my brain on how to fix two sections of the novel where there is an inadequate alternating between voices/time frame, and hence, a “lagging” in the novel. Finally, very late last night, I was able to write two new scenes in the present tense, told from Adi’s POV. I’ve also decided to also delete one of my other past scenes. This, I think, will keep the novel flowing smoothly, at a pace that keeps the reader interested in turning to the next page.

But at this point, coming up with every additional word for this novel is a struggle. When I was writing the first draft, I could easily generate at least forty pages in a two week period. (Oh, how I love writing first drafts!) But this far into revisions of Secrets? I have no more ideas, People. I’m tapped dry. Coming up with these two additional scenes took two weeks of non-stop thinking. I then went over my outline. I went over my notes. I re-read portions of the novel. Finally, I was able to draft the scenes. These aren’t even long scenes. They’re very short. I simply wrote what I needed to write to advance the plot, develop character, and increase the suspense. And then I got out of the scene.

I really, really hope I don’t need to write any more news scenes for this book.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Thanks so much to all of you who stopped by our last WHEN DO YOU WRITE? with Andi Buchanan. Previous guest writers are posted here.

Join me tomorrow in welcoming another wonderful writer, whose blog title and spirit remind me of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

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4 thoughts on “Idea-ology

  1. If people only knew what went into putting a book together- they pick it up at a bookstore- flip through it and think it was so easy to put all the words at their proper place!!

  2. Don’t you feel it’s also like a game of spinning plates, where if you focus on this plate over here, that one starts wobbling. I make one change in the manuscript right now, and it has this ripple effect where now something that wasn’t broken in the first place needs to be fixed. It’s frustrating! (Hence why I am reading blogs instead of editing.)

  3. Right this moment, Mel, I am unshowered, sitting on the couch with my laptop, playing bad reality TV in the background, and reworking the pacing of my novel. It’s painful, because, as you’ve just said, changing even the tiniest details is causing me to shift everything else. UGH! Perhaps I should just shower?

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