Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Always Tweaking Things...

I'm one of those writers who, even though she knows better, will often find herself going back and editing scenes in previous chapters even though the novel isn't done yet. I'm trying very hard to break this habit, but, last week I found myself going through The Undying Ones once again and making changes to the story.

This time around I didn't do anything that made a full rewrite of the story necessary. I just took the flash back scenes and cut them out with the intent of adding them in later. I did this because it made no sense to me to have Mattie remembering things in bits and pieces, and yet having full blown detailed dreams about her past. Instead I plan to build up to the more detailed dreams over the next couple of chapters. It seems to flow better.

I also had to cut some dialogue from the infamous chapter 5 of TUO. It was just holding the chapter back, and I wonder if it was contributing to my writers block for that chapter.

No more progress has been made on either The Dancer or The Descendents. Though I did post a new chapter of one of my fanfics over on FF.net - however it didn't generate much of a response.

Jezebel posted an interesting article on How To Write a Feminist Young Adult Novel on Sunday. Then, when I was on Tumblr the other day I saw this comic - which seemed oddly appropriate:



Lindsay Buroker (author of the Emporer's Edge) posted this interview by Sue London yesterday. It discusses how her self published novel became a best seller and how she got there. 

Patricia Wrede discusses world building in her post Icebergs and Soap Bubbles and finding time to write in Building In The Time.

And now on to the WIPpet Wednesday portion of the post. Since today is June 5th, I'll post five paragraphs from Chapter 6 of The Undying Ones (I almost wrote 5 chapters from book 6 there! That would've been a doozy!). To give a bit of a background on the book and the scene: Mattie lives in a castle where no one dies thanks to a curse that was cast ages ago, the queen is missing, and no one has seen the King in years - though his men say he still lives. There have been some disturbing things happening around the castle recently, things that have started jogging memories that Mattie shouldn't have. This scene takes place after Mattie has had an argument with her friends, and is wandering the castle by herself:

She wandered aimlessly about the empty hallways and rooms, straying far from the common areas that she was familiar with. Here was a room that had completed collapsed in on itself. There was one that was marked by flooding. Another had been reclaimed by the garden it butted up against; vines wound through the broken glass and up across the ceiling and a carpet of grass and moss covered the floor.
She found a nursery filled with toys that had probably been made by her father during the good times. However they, along with the furniture in the room, had all been destroyed long ago - not by time, but by human hand. Did the King and Queen have a child that was lost to the plague or the curse? Or had they been hoping for one? The feelings of anger and the sadness that haunted the room were overpowering, and so Mattie left, shutting the door behind her to hide the carnage.
Next she ended up in a library, where shelves filled with books stretched towards the fading murals that decorated the ceilings overhead. The books were tinted with age and stained by mold, but the titles on the covers were still legible. She ran her fingers along the bindings, selected one that looked promising, and sat down on the ground before opening it.
She was surprised to realize that she was able to understand the words on the page in front of her. When she considered it, it made sense to her that she would know how to read since she was the daughter of the toymaker - surely she had helped him keep his books when times had been better. However she could not remember learning, just like she could not remember how old she was when the curse had struck. Since there were not many books to be found in the common areas, she had never bothered to try before. Wouldn't her friends be surprised!
It was a lovely story about a girl who had been cursed to sleep forever when she pricked her finger on a spindle. Mattie had just reached the part where the hero and heroine had met and realized they were attracted to each other when she heard the footsteps.

13 comments:

  1. That problem of going back and fiddling with previous sentences before you're even done writing the first draft is what I call rewriteritess. Yup, I'm in remission. On most days. It's hard to beat, that's for sure!

    Love the descriptive writing. You give a very good sense of the castle and it's current state. Nicely done.

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    1. It's a definite battle sometimes, but I really do think that these changes will work out for the better!

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  2. I love the descriptions you use, they're very haunting. I really get the sense that there was a time when things were so much better, but that that time is long gone. Usually when there's a nobody dies type curse, it's usually in a time-standing-still way, so it's interesting to see the world falling apart while the people stay the same.

    Also, I LOVE that comic! I have that trouble all the time!

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    1. There was a time when things were better, but still not okay by any means. We get to see that later in the story.

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  3. Intriguing! Loved the descriptiveness of the castle :)

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    1. Also, I'm doing something different for my WIPpet next week. I'm going to let you vote at this post http://inkandpapyrusblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/wippet-choice/ for which previous WIPpet you'd like me to continue. I should have put this at the bottom of this Wednesday's post but I forgot so sorry for clogging up your comments. :) Feel free to edit this bit out :)

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  4. This is such a bittersweet scene. I want to know more about the curse. Some kind of amnesia? The Sleeping Beauty reference at the end is a nice touch.

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    1. It's explained in an earlier chapter that I haven't shared yet. Basically the curse is the ability to be immortal, however you live on in whatever state you were in when the curse took affect. So, if you had broken bones, you'll be stuck living with those broken bones for the rest of your life. And if you injure yourself, your body doesn't heal, so you're stuck that way forever.

      As a result of being alive for so long, some members of the castle have begun to suffer from dementia. Mattie's father is one of them, and often does not recognize his own daughter. Mattie worries that things like forgetting that she knew how to read, and these memories that she should not have, are a sign that she's going to end up like him soon.

      The Sleeping Beauty thing occurred to me at the last moment, but it's very fitting considering what happens in the story.

      I would say more, but I don't want to give anything else away ;)

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    2. That's such a neat idea! I don't think I've seen that particular take on immortality before.

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  5. Oh phooey. My comment disappeared. Oh well. The gist of it was I liked your excerpt. :-)

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  6. I cannot... I.... Wow! I really liked that segment. Old decaying things (I'm a huge fan of Urban Exploration) are my flame, even though my wings are seriously singed.

    The strange part is, I hadn't read this until today, but I just added a scene yesterday about about falling down estate house in my WIP. So... extra wow!

    (Love the comic and the links too. Your posts are fun on so many levels, Christina. Thank you.)

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    1. I've become increasingly more fascinated by abandoned places over the past couple of years. My husband and I have yet to go Urban Exploring, but we do enjoy visiting ghost towns like Calico and Bodie. I think my favorite abandoned place we've visited thus far has been Manzanar though. The buildings except for the gym are pretty much all gone, but you can still see their foundations. Also, the rock gardens the internee's created while imprisoned are still there. It's a beautiful and solemn place.

      I'm glad my posts are entertaining! I worry sometimes that they might be boring.

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