Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A little less conversation and a little more action

Puttered around the house today doing small things to catch up. Did a bit too much nervous eating (mmm, Thomas' English Muffins, yum). And just happened to finish out draft zero of Act I in Bladesman. Ten chapters are in the bag, and the word count clocks in at 19130. Which isn't too bad. I was hoping for 20-30,000 per act to bring the novel in between 60-90,000 (see the inestimable Swivet - Colleen Lindsay - on wordcounts). Considering the second draft of my writing typically adds another 5-10% to the word count (adding in descriptions, tightening the language, including those things in my mind that I meant to say but somehow it just never made it to the page), I'll be fine.

I know there's a lot that needs to be reworked and worded. There's a whole chapter I'm not happy with (but I've gone against myself and have rewritten parts of it). I have some notes of things that need to be added in and where they need to be added so I'll go back and do that before going on (it shouldn't take more than an hour tonight). And I know I haven't described much, it's not a "white room" situation. I think most people could fill in details themselves with what I give, but there's some atmosphere stuff I could do to increase its noir-ishness. Also, I figured out the only two people I've really described in any detail are what will become the main antagonist (who for most of Act I you think is, in Act III he'll come on stronger once his boss is removed) and Javier Hernandez. I don't think I've shown how old our main character is (I've hinted, but haven't said directly), nor have I described him much at all, except you get "athletic" from the context. So yeah, I can see this first part growing by 3,000 words, even with rewriting and tightening the language (yes, I don't just add, my second draft typically sees at least 30-50% new material, much of the rest changed slightly, while only increasing word count <10%).

The story is going slightly astray from what I planned. Not so much on the content, but on the timing. What's revealed at the end of Act I had been planned for the middle of Act II (the middle of the novel, where things should go from bad to worse quickly). Such are the ways of living things like stories. I know what will take it's place, something that may add to the critique of "You watched too many James Bond movies growing up, didn't you?" Why, yes. Yes I did. Hopefully I'll be able to pull it off in a good way. It makes sense with the plot lines and how the story is moving, fitting into the motivations of the antagonists. So I'm good with doing it. And it should lead to some pretty good action.

So how does Act I end (I hear you asking)?

"Which one of the bastards is out to replace me," Javier said not making it exactly a question. He stood up and looked ready to go strangle someone with his own hands.

"Your dead son-in-law, sir," I said.

To his credit, the old man only needed a second to process that. He deflated a little seeing his prey wasn't close by. "Why that little shit," was all he said.

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