I didn’t go out-of-town this week…maybe next week. Mini vacation.
I took time to remember what I am trying to do with my revisions. First, I need to cut my word count down from 170,000 to 120,000. And, I need to get my story proportions right. I want Parts One and Four to each be 20% of my word count, while Parts 2 and 3 to each be 30%.
Because I’m experimenting with Blake Snyder’s Beats, the ones he wrote about in Save The Cat, along with some features suggested by Larry Brooks in Story Engineering. Part Two has two book ends, Plot Point One and the Mid Point. Sitting in the middle is something called Pinch Point One. Maybe I will write a post on how I’m trying to use these devices. Anyway, if Plot Point One happens at 24,000 words, and the Mid Point happens at 60,000 words, Pinch Point One comes at 41,000 words. When I get there, I will need to slip a targeted scene in, showing the villain’s nature. And it will need to naturally flow from what has come before.
When I replanned Part Two, I resolved to cut 9,000 words. I shrank my scene count from 24 to 17, and rearranged them to flow more naturally. With 17 scenes, I need to average 1,800 words.
But, don’t weep for Part Two. I need to remove almost half of Part Three. Many of my little darlings will die all together. I will find out if I’m strong enough.
Scene Nineteen (April 15th)
In my first draft, a different scene introduced Part Two. But Part Two cannot start until my MC makes an irreversible choice that commits her to winning or losing. So, I decided to bring her first scene forward. As it turned out, I had two scenes, that, if I joined them, would serve my purpose. In my original first scene, she leaves safety, assuming nothing has changed. In my second scene she learns of her peril and tries to save herself. But that felt too convenient. If I want my MC, a woman, to be seen as strong, she needed to decide to go into harms way. So I took my original scenes and reversed them. She learns events have forever changed her world and gives her an opportunity to run for safety or face the villain. She then places herself and her son in danger by deciding to fight for his rights. I’m happy with the change.
Scene Nineteen cried out to be dramatic. Dramatic scenes are platforms POVs making decisions. And, I needed her to make a choice. Dramatic scenes work best when antagonists challenge POVs and create unbearable pressure for them to change. My problem was that I didn’t really do that in my original scenes. I tried to reuse as much of my original work as I could. But…they…just…didn’t…work. So, I gave in and rewrote my scene.
My scene antagonist changed. Originally, my MC argued with her future mentor. But it felt more natural for her to fight with another character, one close to her. But my original antagonist must still become her mentor. My MC will his death in Part Three. Then she will plunge into her Dark Night of the Soul. I must thrust him into the thick of things when she is POV again.
How Am I Doing?
With Scene Nineteen, I have 25,913 words, 153 words over target. My next five scenes need no combining of scenes. But…my POV changed in three of them. And my scene order is a little different. I hope I wrote well enough that I can reuse at least part of my material. I must stop rewriting just for the sake of rewriting.