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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Oh, the hard work that remains after a first draft is completed! I made some notes before going to bed last night about an important statement that I needed to include somewhere early in the manuscript. In the opening chapter, Deanna discovers the body of a coworker at the office where she works and while the scene screams suicide, Dee doesn't believe it. I realized I needed Dee to explain why she would pursue the issue in the face of opposition. She did not know the murder victim well, and she supports the Senator who's office it happened in. Why would she push it? I came up with a reason, but finding the right place to include it was a bit of a challenge. It boils down to getting the reader behind Dee's quest with the feeling it's what they would do in her shoes.

The other challenge is the progression of the message. The other main character, Reese, is trying to figure out what happened, too, but from a different viewpoint. He is slowly introducing Dee to a different world, a new way of looking at things, and his revelations must proceed in a logical fashion. This becomes hard to manage when the manuscript is cobbled together from an older version with new ideas being added.

But each time I think I need to step back and do some sort of outline or summary, I wind up digging into the story again with the thought that I need to hone the idea more first. Why go through a tedious outline if it's going to change again, or so goes my rationale.

Another thing I'm becoming more aware of is the style. Long ago, when the first incarnation of the book was in the hands of a literary agent, she told me that Dee's narrative did not match the style of her dialog. Her descriptions were too, well, literary. I've seen it happening again in the rewrite, so I'm fixing as I go.

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