Well, I typed up this post on 5/24/09, but then our Internet went down as the cable company is still working on lines in the area from the storm. So, here it is... better late than never!
Okay, the yard and house are mostly cleaned up from the in-land hurricane… We’ve pretty much settled into a routine of sorts with our son and his autism therapists… Technically, we’re all still sick… but, I’m back! This time it’s going to stick gosh-darn’t!
I’ve found my writing mojo and realize that my brain never stopped working on the book, it just did it in the far corners of my mind where I wasn’t paying attention. Today, I skimmed my first draft and read over all of my notes and ideas for what to tweak in the second.
Somewhere around page 211, I think I figured out what to do about my first chapter. The scene that is currently chapter one is all right. I like it and plan on keeping it in the story, but it just didn’t seem right for the first chapter. The chapter that is supposed to draw everyone in and make them start asking questions and needing to read the book to figure them out... The current chapter is a fun way to introduce several of the characters while showing Casey’s personality, but it just doesn’t have that… that, you know… That thing that makes you curl a little more into a book that you’ve begun? Yeah. That.
But, as I said, around page 211 of my skim-fest, I had an epiphany. I really like my new concept, but am wondering exactly how I’ll pull it off. I’m thinking that I want to start the book with the death of one of my favorite characters, preferably within the first two pages. Currently this death occurs towards the end of the book, but I’m wondering… maybe I can start the story there and have it leave enough cryptic clues to really get the reader sucked into the story and then have it go back and start at the beginning. Maybe have the death be a type of prologue, even though I know that some people don’t like those.
Start with the death and have the next chapter start up with the scene that is set to start next on the timeline. This scene includes a phone call where Casey is told about the death. Now, what I’m thinking is that the shock of hearing that this character is dead will have Casey internally questioning what happened? Was there anything she could’ve done to stop this? Thus, leading into the story from the beginning.
This would make the bulk of the story in the past tense as it’s describing what’s already happened and would require a bit of extra rewrites to accommodate this. But! One concern that has been expressed with the story is that it’s in the present tense. This way, most of it would be past, until we catch up to that point in the story, where she is sitting in shock. Then it would pick up in present tense.
This would also explain why most of the story is from Casey’s POV. It’s all her memories at that point. Once we catch back up to the present time, the POV starts swapping around again, at least a couple times.
It would also give me more chances to lay cryptic clues about the men in Casey’s life and it lets the reader know what a large part the dead character actually plays in the story. What they do in those first couple of pages lays the groundwork for the entire series.
I wish that my husband was home from work or that my beta reader was online right now because I want to explain this idea in detail to someone who knows the entire story to see if it works for them. I think that vocalizing it and answering any questions that they might have will help me decide if this is really the way I want to organize my chapters.
There are a lot more tweaks that I plan on making to the story that will really change it for the better as well. But, I’d really like to start by reorganizing it if that’s the path that I choose to take. Otherwise, I might rewrite a chapter and then have it affected by the reorganization and need to be rewritten again.
But anyway, I guess I’ll spend the time until the hubby gets home reading the story and adding in more comments via the Track Changes feature on where I’d like to add in all my new ideas.
Oh yeah, I’ve also found a great new procrastinatory outlet other than Facebook. I enjoy watching TV shows on the Internet because I can never seem to remember to watch them when they’re actually on. (Yeah, no TiVo or DVR and I’m not about to try and find a blank VHS to use the VCR.) But anywho… somewhere along the lines, I discovered that the Highlander series is on Hulu! I loved that series and it’s been forever since I’ve watched it. So, now that most of my shows are on hiatus until the fall season, I’ve been watching Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod beheading people. Hopefully, my writing mojo is stronger than my need to watch Highlander… I can find a healthy balance, right?
Anywho, until I blog again…
Talk 2ya later…
Additional Note: After talking with the hubby, I think I know how to make this new idea work in the story. I'm going to start the second draft with the new, reorganized story and if, in the end, I don't like it, I can go back to the first draft copy and start over.