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A quiet and mostly unexciting summer - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
A quiet and mostly unexciting summer
Mostly I am plodding on with proofreading and testing of G's Java programming book. Only a couple more chapters to go and then it will be ready to do the final formatting check, design the cover and it can be uploaded to Lulu.

In other news, I am delighted to say that I have unstuck the novel I'm writing.[*] I've not written any fiction for a few years, due to various things, but I recently set myself the goal of completing the messy first draft of The One About The War by the end of December. So I had been poking at it, but despite poking, it just would not unstick. It was stuck like the stuckest thing in a sticky place. Anyway, thanks partly to the book I'm reading (Writing Faster FTW (thank you julesjones for the recommendation!)), I finally had the necessary insight which showed me how to get it moving again.

The key was, "If the characters and the outline disagree, the characters always win." Except that the event in the outline had to happen because I've already written Book 2 of the trilogy and the event has happened! It is done. It is history. Normally I can get characters to do "out of character" things by manipulating the other characters and events in the story. Someone might not normally do X, but if they were made angry/tired/drunk/drugged/confused/miserable etc enough, (delete as appropriate) they would plausibly behave "out of character".

But however I manoeuvred all the manoeuvrable things, I couldn't make it convincing. But then I realised this morning that though the main character wouldn't do what the plot demands that he must do, he would back up his men if they did it. So suddenly, the novel is not only unstuck, but I have then next few scenes and then it should be downhill all the way to the end.

Then I just have to go back to the beginning, scrap several chapters and rewrite them, but I am glad to say that I seem to have finally got my writing brain back.

[*] For values of writing that include not touching it since 2009.

Current Mood: pleased pleased

3 comments or Leave a comment
julesjones From: julesjones Date: August 3rd, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad it helped. :-) I reviewed the book within a couple of days of reading it because it struck me as a "writing how-to" that could actually help even if you already in theory know everything in it. Nice to know someone's benefited already.
khiemtran From: khiemtran Date: August 3rd, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you an expert on Java now?
birdsedge From: birdsedge Date: August 4th, 2015 10:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so pleased you're moving ahead with this one. I liked the bits I've read so far and, as you know, I loved Book Two.
3 comments or Leave a comment