I spend more time revising than I do actually writing. Each time I start a new manuscript, I think - This time will be different. This time I’ll get it down in two drafts. But invariably by the time I finish the second draft, I realize major revisions are needed. And why? Up until now, I wasn’t quite sure, but I think I’ve figured it out.
I don’t take enough time to plot out my GMCs for each character.
Oh, I tell myself I do. I slap stuff down on paper and say, ‘there, see – GMCs are done’. But I never really, truly think them out. I'm way too anxious to start writing, so I make a good play at it. I skim over the surface and think – yup, sounds good. But I don’t look at the big picture in detail. And inevitably the GMCs I had worked up are never strong enough to support the whole story. And by the end of draft two this becomes glaringly obvious and I can no longer deny it.
At which time I end up back at the drawing board with a great story that’s missing a key ingredient. Like making cookies and forgetting the chocolate chips. Sure, it tastes good, but wouldn’t you rather have the chocolately goodness? Of course you would.
Luckily, I figured out what was missing for Brimstone. And of course, it changes things drastically. Well, okay, not drastically, perhaps that’s a bit too melodramatic. But it changes things significantly. My characters’ thinking changes, why they are doing things changes. Why they are avoiding other things changes. What I thought was a major plot point isn’t. And what I thought would be a minor plot point should have been front and centre starring in the show.
Thankfully, everything is fixable. And most of my scenes still work with minor tweaking. A line taken out, a new one inserted. Things like that. A few scenes will be removed altogether (I must kill my little darlings...) and new ones inserted in their place. It will be a process, but one I’m familiar with. After all, Outlaw Bride took six drafts to get right.
And one thing that will make this easier? This week I am taking part in an on-line course given by Shelley Bradley (aka Shayla Black) on Storyboarding. So far, I like what I see. Anything that helps me cut down on the amount of drafts I have to do, I am all for. The course runs from Mon-Fri and couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m feeling much better about my 3rd draft and the manuscript in general.
And speaking of feeling better, I borrowed a friend's books from Weight Watchers and decided to try and follow the Points thing to see if I could rectify the whole weight thing before it got out of hand. So far so good. This program is freakishly easy to follow. I went out and bought groceries and loaded up on foods that had 0 or 1 point so I could eat lots without going over my alotted points. Which was great, because I felt satisfied, not starving like I worried I would. At first I freaked out when I did the whole points calculation. I'm only allowed 18 pts on a non-workout day and 21 pts if I workout. But by eating low point foods, I'm fine. Who knew...
By the end of the day yesterday I had enough points left over to enjoy a tea and treat at Starbucks. Hey - any program that allows me to eat chocolate has my vote.