Writing has been… difficult lately. Most of the work I’ve done has been on one scene. It’s not even a very long scene, but it’s the sort of thing I find very difficult to write. It’s tricky getting the right balance of emotion and action. There are three of these, and I’ve got one more to do. It comes later in the book, but I may just work on it during the coming week to get it over with. We’ll see.
This week, I actually added a (very short) scene to my manuscript. Since I’ve been out of the habit of adding whole new scenes, it was actually a bit terrifying. Still, I got through it. Despite adding the scene, I think that the manuscript is still shrinking overall. I keep reminding myself that that’s a good thing, since it means that the prose is getting tighter, but it still worries me. In case you’re wondering, I’ve got just over 70,000 words now, and I’ve revised about 11 chapters out of 35.
I also spent a bit of time scribbling out scene ideas for another book. I’ve now got a nice stack of index cards for that project, though there are still a lot of things I need to flesh out. Most of the index cards have to do with character rather than plot. That’s going to remain a back burner project for… well, most likely for quite a while, since I need to finish up Wolf Season and would like to make some progress on the Shipping Project.
The revision is going well. I had to take two passes at one of the scenes I did this week, but I think it’s improved a lot from it’s original form. At this stage, I’ve been sending certain scenes to specific people. These tend to be scenes where I have a particular question or concern.
I’ve been wondering if writing to music might help with some of the scenes where the pacing or the mood is off. The problem is that then I have to take the time to actually find music to fit that mood. I’ve done a few internet searches for this, but I’ve found that I probably wouldn’t describe the mood or feel of a song the way a lot of other people would.
I also finally upgraded to Scrivener 2.0. I’d been using 1.0 since last spring (2010). I actually really like Scrivener. I love being able to color code scenes. Right now I code them based on whether or not they need more revision in this round. I also really like how easy it is to re-order scenes, though, and how I can just drop them into a cuts folder if I decide to take them out of the manuscript, but may need to pull parts from them later.
There are a lot of neat features in the new version, including a more flexible virtual corkboard. However, I think a real corkboard will probably be more useful, at least for the initial planning and outlining. The virtual corkboard would probably be more useful if I had a second, ginormous monitor, since that would allow me to view more of the virtual index cards at a glance. I could see that being quite helpful when I do revisions.
And yes, the manuscript is still shrinking. I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon.