October 19th, 2012


Revision Ripple Effects

It turns out I'd have been okay if my car had started Tuesday night on the way to ballet but didn't after class because my ballet teacher has jumper cables. Good to know. I went to the Thursday class, which is now a true beginner class instead of the "beginnermediate" class we'd been doing, and wow, it was great for boosting my confidence levels. It was paced so that I got to be really, really good. Since I have so many classes to make up, I guess I'll be doing two classes a week for the rest of the semester. That's probably a good thing to do during the fall eating season now that I seem to be fully recovered, including my appetite.

Speaking of appetite, I baked some of my frozen chocolate chip cookies last night after class, and they turned out pretty much the same as when I make them the normal way. I baked them in the toaster oven, so it took a little longer, but otherwise I'm not sure I could have told the difference. This discovery means that dancing twice a week is a very good thing. I lost a lot of weight while I was sick, and I'd rather not put it back on.

After yesterday's portal fantasy discussion, wouldn't you know, an idea popped into my head, just as I was falling asleep last night, so there wasn't much rest for me and I'm groggy this morning. I don't actually have the fantasy/portal elements worked out, but I know all about my heroine and her life before she travels to the other world. I love it when a character comes to me fully-formed. I don't have to do much development on her because I just know her, and she's not my usual kind of heroine. Now I need a plot, an idea of what the fantasy world is like, what she'll do there and why she gets sucked through the portal.

But first, I've realized I'm pretty much going to have to rewrite the second half of Book 7. I seem to have been doing a lot of brainstorming on the page, so there are a lot of good ideas in there, but they're all jumbled up. It goes beyond what my mom calls "Bill and Tedding," after the movie where they took advantage of time travel to say things like "Remind me to go back in time and put a trash can there," and then a trash can would suddenly appear right where they needed it. When I'm writing a first draft and realize that I need something to be there, I'll make a note to go back and put it in place, then continue as though it was there all along and "Bill and Ted" it in revisions. In this case, it's more extensive. They're in a tense "We're trapped! Whatever shall we do?" situation, and the solution is "Oh, I forgot to tell you about this, but I did some exploring earlier, and I found a secret passage!" While there is some suspense to not knowing about the secret passage, it's more than overshadowed by the readers going "When was all this exploring taking place, and it's not like you not to tell this stuff." Only it's not just a single secret passage (not really a secret passage -- this is hypothetical to avoid spoilers). It's a major part of the world building, so it's more like "Oh, I forgot to tell you this thing I discovered about the way the world works." All this means I need to write the exploring/discovery scene earlier in the book, and then there's a ripple effect as this knowledge will change a lot of other things they do. Then there's the stuff I did set up in the first half that I never really used in the second half but that I think would really change things.

I spent much of yesterday re-plotting the second half, coming up with a new sequence of events. There are some scenes I may be able to keep, but they're going to have to be in different places.

So, while I'm working on this and then on the next book I want to work on, my subconscious will have to come up with a way and reason for a world-weary, very unromantic diner waitress hiding out from her past to end up in a fantasy world that isn't actually her personal fantasy. I may need to read as many of these books as I can find to make sure I'm avoiding the tried-and-true and doing something unique.