Mysterious Man starts writing another book, Part II

As promised, I’ve been working on my next book.  I hit a bit of a rough patch where I wasn’t sure how much exposition to give.  It’s a new thing for me because previously I’ve only known two different scenarios in my writing:

  1. Writing a section that is just really fun to write.
  2. Writing a section that I need to have, but am not enjoying and am just slogging through.

Needless to say, the things in category 1 are much better done than those in category 2.  The latter inevitably end up needing to be revised.

But I reached a point in my new book that was really neither.  I felt like I could go either way on this section; I could linger a bit and give some more atmospheric exposition, or I could just say what I needed to say and move along to the next part.  I’m torn about how to go–part of me wants to move on, and I have read advice for writers that says not to put in unnecessary stuff.

On the other hand, I think (and have been told by multiple readers) that my earlier stories fell into the trap of moving too quickly and not lingering enough on certain things to set the scene.  So I am inclined to spend more time on stage-setting than I ordinarily would, to try to correct for this tendency.

One thing this forces me to do is really picture the scene in my mind.  This is harder than you would think.  In the past when I have written stuff, I have had a general sketch in mind, but nothing too detailed.  This caused me to try and get away with saying some pretty vague stuff.  This way, I’ll now have a more firm idea in mind, and can communicate it better to the readers.

The scene I’m currently writing is also important because (not to give too much away) it is setting up a location that the protagonist will return to later, where the majority of the action in the story will take place.  So it’s a good opportunity for some foreshadowing, and I don’t want to miss out on that.

3 Comments

  1. If you don’t have a clear picture of the scene the reader certainly won’t. Try looking at the scene through you’re character’s eyes. Become the character and see it.
    Don’t try to write the whole story in one setting. Get the bones of the story out from start to finish, fill in the flesh in rewrites. It may take a dozen rewrites to fully flesh out the descriptions, background details, and other things. Each time you go through it ideas will come to make it better. When you save your work number each day’s writings or date it. If you delete something and a couple of days later decide to put it back in you haven’t lost it.
    The longer a story gets and the number of characters grow, keep a cast of characters which will save a lot of time going back and trying to remember a character’s name further on in the story. Hope this helps.

    1. It helps a lot. Thanks. Great idea on keeping each day’s changes-I will start doing that.

      I typically write my drafts in Word. (Though often they come from handwritten notes I write down as I think of ideas) Then I use track revisions/deletions to highlight what I’ve changed over time. Does that seem like a good way of keeping things, or should I just create different files for each day’s work?

  2. Keep each day’s work separate. It lets you see the development of the story. I don’t print out a hard copy (double space and print on both sides to save paper) until I’ve come to an ending. It’s easier to catch errors and you have room for additions and deletions. By the time I’m ready to e-publish I’ve run three hard copies, these I shred, but I work at a place that has a document destruction company come by every month. Always make backups on a flash drive or sd card in case your computer crashes. It’s surprising how the nuts and bolts of writing are so seldom talked about. It’s also good to have a friend to read your rough draft and offer advice. If all they give is praise find someone else, you need good feedback to improve your writing.

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