Where the Hell Have I Been?

I know I said I'd leave a post on Black Friday with recommendations for good how-to books and fantasy books, too.

::har de har har::

Well, that came to pass, didn't it? ;-) There's been plenty o'happenin' around my neck of the woods. There was Thanksgiving, which we spent at my brother's house. He and the kids looked great, everything was fun - including their new dogs. Both are very sweet, although Emma (a golden retriever) loves to jump; but she'll also lick you within one inch of your life! :-) The other one, Jesse, is equally sweet, and kind of shy. She reminded me a lot of our own Frodo (a Husky/Malamute/Ingredient X mix), especially when we first got him; he was shy and nervous about everything around him.

The other significant thing over these past few days: I've revised the first 3 chapters of my WIP. Yay me! :-) I'll admit that I was a bit down about the opening (first chapter, actually). So I decided to try a couple of different ways of looking at it, including a complete overhaul of the opening scene.

Didn't work.

I decided to get out an old version of StoryCraft software. This is software based on the Jarvis Method (which is based on Joseph Campbell's ideas on the Hero's Journey). I think it helped me nail down exactly what I wanted to accomplish in this novel.

I also dug out an old electronic version (close to the original draft) of the complete WIP.

Before doing any revisions, I went online to kind of ease my mind as what I'd originally written. I found something that did just that; we have to get invested in the MC and her world before the inciting incident occurs. Mine occurs in Chapter 2. But I have foreshadowed a few things so it's not all "WTF?" moments. In fact, one thing foreshadowed isn't seen again until the end of the story. (That's like in a mystery story where you might describe a cane in intricate detail, and then have that cane used later on in the story for whatever reason. In fact, you better use that cane somewhere along the line, or why else go into such detail?)

Anyway, something clicked for me yesterday. I worked on those first 3 chapters throughout the day. Everything just flowed, until I got to the 3rd chapter. I had a few scenes with a minor character that were funny, and I tried to get rid of that character's insights and meanderings and think about what my MC would see and hear instead.

It was awkward, to say the least. The scene after that (which is the start of the next chapter) is in the MC's POV, and partially talks about what happened with her interacting with the minor character. I know, I know, I should've just done it in one or the other POV, but for whatever weird reason, I wrote it from opposing viewpoints. What I'll do is I'll go through what I wrote in the 3rd chapter and compare it to the 4th chapter, keeping what I think is good, trashing what I think is bad.

Oy. I want to get through the rest of the story by next February, do maybe one last revision or run through, then start crafting the query letter. ::gak:: I'd rather go to the dentist than do a query letter.

I'll do the recommendations thing tomorrow.

~Nancy Beck