Tire, meet nail

You don’t expect it, but it’s good to prepared for when it happens

There I was, happily churning out pages for the pulpy adventure spec. The daily output was respectably above average.

(Gotta say, this new practice of writing out/establishing the beats of each scene has proven invaluable.)

If I could maintain this kind of pace, dare I even contemplate the possibility of having a completed draft, if not by month’s end, then maybe by mid-February?

But like the man who operates the guillotine might say, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

Story-wise, things are still pretty solid, save for a previously unforeseen wrinkle: I need to do some emergency revision regarding exactly where and how a supporting character is introduced.

What was in the outline is completely different from what ended up on the page, so looks like I’ve given myself a few options:

  1. Leave it as is, but come up with how to tie everything together. A few possible solutions here. Not crazy about it.
  2. Go back and rewrite so it plays out as originally planned. It may lack some of the punch I was hoping to start with, but that sequence already has a significant amount of “attention-grabbing oomph” to begin with.

Some alternate approaches are currently under consideration, as are those of a drastically different nature. It’s also being discovered that implementing some of these changes could actually assist in reducing the number of pages, which was going to happen anyway. Only now it would be sooner. Not a bad result.

No matter which I choose, there’s some serious editing and rewriting in my immediate future.

This whole scenario definitely falls under the “kill your darlings” category because even though I really like what I’ve already written, as we all know, fixing the story takes precedence over placating the writer’s ego.

Keeping with the metaphor of this post’s title, what initially felt like a major problem is, after some careful analysis, evaluation, and plain old level-headedness, slowly developing into more of a bump in the road.


6 thoughts on “Tire, meet nail

  1. Chuckling at guillotine jokes: another example of living in the new Republic For Which It Demands.

    “The daily output was respectably above average.”

    I have to ask: what do you consider a day’s average output? Do you measure that in total pages, or in good scenes? Or in resonating one-liners? Or in ways discovered to fix a problem?

    “Nails are only a problem when they’re not picked up and used to build something.” One of my characters told me that.

    • Glad to know you appreciate my razor-sharp wit.

      To me, a good day’s output is anything more than 2 or 3 pages. Even if that means going back and fixing things, I still like to add a few more pages to the total.

      • MaxZ, if that’s your quote about guillotines, then my hat’s off to you. (;^D)

        The great sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury had just one piece of advice for writers: “Write four pages a day, every day.” Which is interesting, because his works were spare, almost Spartan in their word count and length.

        I believe what he really meant was create four pages a day that you’re really proud of, even if those are edited pages of works previously completed.

        There is value in what Jim says below: work to create a completed script, then edit it later. But sometimes, writing is like building a stone wall: you can’t complete the top rows until the lower courses are sturdy and well-fitted, even if that means taking some time to chip off a piece here or squeeze in a smaller stone there.

        Good writing!

  2. Paul, I suggest you keep writing & not stop for rewrites & fixes . Blaze away to complete the draft & then put it away for a few days. Read it fresh & see if you still need those fixes &, if so, fine, rewrite. This way you will have the entire script to look at & have a better idea of how it paces. Jim

  3. I had the same thing happen to me. When I found myself writing about a scene, it pointed out it was missing some important scenes. Not sure how to write it them, but at least I know what’s not there. I’ll have to put my mind to it.

  4. Stellar-quality character entrances are vital for attracting actors to your project, as well as for entertaining viewers. If you’ve veered in that sort of direction, you’re probably on the right track. Leave it that way, but make any changes needed to stay with your step outline for now. This is a major wrinkle and may be worth addressing before proceeding.

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