Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Status -- July 28, 2009

Rewrite heaven. Slogging through the hardest part of the book: Mr. Sham’s Basement. This was the second part of the novel I wrote in August last year. Since then, I have completely rewritten it 4 times (meaning I threw out the old and started fresh...4 times).

This sequence is the physical climax of the book, a long set piece scene in which our protagonist is trapped in a very nasty situation. The problem is that multiple subplots, the main plot, and almost all the critical characters in the book converge on this sequence, making it a nightmare for pacing, dialogue and POV. The protagonist, who is the book’s only POV character, is physically trapped through much of this--watching and participating in events from a cage. It seems important to keep the protagonist active and central to movement in the plot, but this has proven exceedingly difficult.

This sequence also determines the X, R, or PG-13 rating of the book. The first version was a hard, horrific X. About halfway through the novel, I realized the story is suitable for YA markets so I downgraded this scene from X to R. The latest version, for reasons more practical than audience conscious, has drifted toward PG-13.

My last estimate (looking forward to when things will be done), estimated wrapping this up mid-July, with a total wordcount of about 10K. Now it is the end of July, it sits at 15K, and I still have two chapters to rework. Ouch.

So, this part is a slog, and I’ll still have to get some distance and read-as-a-reader to see if iteration 4 works.

Hoping to finish this draft in August. We shall see.

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