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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Face wall. Bang head. Repeat.

Question.


What do you do when you feel completely overwhelmed by your MS? (I'll tell you what I do...give up for the moment and write a blog about it) When it needs so much work that you don't even know where to start?

I am determined to finish Hellbound, especially as soon I will not be working and would love to be able to query by the time I start school in January, because I sure won't have a ton of time to get it in shape then. But....it's a mess. I wrote it out of order and there are random scenes everywhere. I've never written a romance and I'm having trouble with the pacing and development of that relationship.

Any ideas? Brilliant words of wisdom? A hug? I'll take whatever ya got.

6 comments:

Deb Salisbury said...

Ouch, Danielle! I know your pain. After my word-cutting binge, I had to go back and create a scene-by-scene outline. That was the only way I could keep track of what happened when. And yes, it was a pain in the neck to build.

My main consolation is that if an editor wants a chapter outline, I'm ready. :-)

C. N. Nevets said...

Grit your teeth, believe in yourself, and beat that MS into submission!

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Also a chapter outline can help. Think in terms of about how many words you want the book to be. think about how long your chapters usually are. That should give you an estimate of how many chapters in the book. Each of those represents some development or action point in that relationship.

Throw the biggies on. ("About half-way, I want them to finally suspect they like each other." "About three-quarters through, I want her to know it for sure." "Back at about a quarter, I want him to be so turned off by her he would rather date his sister.") Whatever your milestones are, figure out roughly where in the story they seem right, and then arbitrarily pin them to chapters.

Then, start filling in the steps between milestons.

And then adjust as necessary, cutting and adding chapters to correct for necessary or unnecessary time.

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Also printing it out and physically cutting and arranging the scene can help give you a different perspective that is sometimes easier to manipulate the facing an entire MS.

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But mainly -- grit your teeth, believe in yourself, and beat that MS into submission!

Renae said...

You did the right thing by stepping back and taking a small break. For me that's the hardest.

What I do when I get overwhelmed is go chapter by chapter and make notes of major events in those chapters. I start reading from the beginning and go through the entire ms. By the end I usually feel more at ease and have a clear picture of where to fill in the holes.

Good luck! I know you can do it!

Rachael Harrie said...

Hi Danielle. C.N. had such fantastic suggestions I'll just give you a hug :)

Best of luck with it all.

Rach

Danielle said...

Thanks all!

C.N. - Excellent advice! I opened a new document and am in the process of putting scenes in order where I think they should go, and then I'll probably try making a chapter outline to see what is missing.

Brenda Drake said...

I have the same issue right now. I just got my edits back from CA Marshall and I've cut several scenes and now I have to weave what I have left together. I'm so overwhelmed. I think stepping back and eating a carton of ice cream is in order. Good luck! :D