As advertised, let’s jump right into the story of the week (prompt courtesy of Myer Sue), followed by a brief update on the novel.
The Price is Write
Brad, a happily-married shopaholic, had a dirty little secret. After buying expensive things, he slashed the price tags so it looked like he got a bargain. When he showed his husband his latest find, Lars was always impressed. He’d married a great shopper!
Lars, a graphic artist, occasionally bought Brad lavish gifts. He always “forgot” to take off the price tags, but one day Brad discovered that the price tag was actually a sticker covering up the much cheaper original cost. Lars was inflating the price of his gifts.
Brad, outraged, accused Lars of keeping secrets. Brad was an excellent actor.
Prompt: retail bulimia
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What’s up with the novel? Funny you should ask. Here’s what’s happening with it: NOTHING. Well, that’s not completely true but it feels that way since I’m not actively working on it at the moment. As tempted as I’ve been to crack open the first draft of my manuscript and see what I wrote with those 104,000 words I strung together in November and December, I am following the advice of the experts. The consensus is to step away from it so you can create some distance and gain a bit more of an objective perspective. Yesterday I read some advice that said to let the story marinate for at least a month. That’s a long time, but it’s what I’m actually going to do. In the meantime, I’m thinking about critical issues I know I want to address in the next draft (such as giving my protagonist a stronger external goal). I’m also taking the time to learn all I can about the various ways writers attack the rewrite process.
My next step: Outline. Sounds weird, right? Create an outline after I wrote the book. This was my plan all along and it was confirmed by an excellent book I’m reading now called Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts. In it, the author suggests creating an outline of your first draft after it’s written, so you can see what you actually have (as opposed to what you set out to write). That will be what I start working on next month. That weird-sounding move will be followed by another silly-sounding one–reading the novel all the way through just like an actual reader (to see how much sense it makes/doesn’t make).
Wish me luck. I’m going in–starting February 1st.