Tag Archives: draft 1

Research for Draft 3

I spent a lot of this afternoon doing research for draft 3 of my Author Quest submission.  After thinking about it a bit, I’ve definitely decided to make the major changes my brother and I talked about the other day when he gave me feedback.  I want this story to be as strong as it can be, and I honestly think what he suggested will greatly help.

Unfortunately, the rewrite is going to be rather substantial.  I’m looking at changing about 3000 words right now, which is a little under half of my story.  I’m also going to be introducing a different setting which I will most likely have to make up; in draft 2, the entire story takes place within the Castle of the Crystal, but now I’ll need to go outside of the castle for a scene or two.  I did a lot of research looking into what Gelfling villages look like, but I had a really hard time finding anything.  The couple of pictures I did find come from the Dark Crystal graphic novels (both the Creation Myths series and the Legends of the Dark Crystal manga).  Nothing I found today is quite right for what I need, so it looks like I’ll be designing my own village for the story.  To that end, I’m planning on playing around with a sketch book tonight to hopefully get a better idea of what I need.

Luckily, I actually did start visualizing the area I need in draft 1 (it was the chunk I completely removed in draft 2).  So between that, the few pictures I did find, plus sketching, hopefully I’ll have something I can use in the next couple of days.

By the way, if anyone is interested in some reference pictures, I’ve put together a board on Pinterest.  The pictures on it are mainly Skeksis and locations because that’s what I’ve needed for my submission so far.  But if you’d like to see what I’ve used, feel free to check it out.  🙂

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Beginning the Edits

After leaving my first draft alone for a couple of days, it’s time to start editing.  As my first step, I reread what I had written. As I had expected, there’s a lot wrong with it. The dialogue is rather clumsy. So is a lot of the description. There’s an awful lot of repetition. The setting needs a lot of work. So do many of the characters. And of course there’s that chunk I wrote to finish off the draft, which wasn’t gone over the way everything else was; that’s going to need a lot of work.

But in the middle of everything, I also found a lot of things that I liked. Once the story got going, for the most part it seemed to move along rather nicely. This was really thanks to the Skeksis, and one in particular. The scenes with him were just as much fun to read as they were to write. While I know that the rewrites are rather extensive, the scenes with him made me feel like I am on the right track.

So having reread what I’ve written, it’s time to start fixing everything up. My plan is to start with the characters, making sure they’re all solid before even attempting to rewrite their dialogue.

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Draft 1 Completed!

I wrote an awful lot today.  A few days ago, I managed to get draft 1 up to about 4,500 words.  I then hit a snag, where I wrote some dialogue that I really, really liked.  But it didn’t work at all for the story (it felt like I’d written myself into a wall, where there was nowhere to turn).  So I spent some time mulling the scene over, trying to figure out where exactly it went wrong and what I could do to fix it.  In the end I realized that most of the dialogue I liked had to go, so I killed it and powered on through about 3000 words, bringing the draft up to the required 7,500 words I need to submit it to the contest.  Along the way, I also fixed up the remaining problem areas of my original four sections.

Having gotten the length I wanted, I’ve decided that now is the perfect time to put the story aside for a couple of days before beginning a round of editing.  I’m quite interested to see what will need to be fixed once I give myself a bit of space from the story.  I know for a fact that there are some areas that will need extensive edits, as well as some smaller things that will need changing.  But all of that can wait  as I take a break and celebrate this draft being finished!

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Draft 1 is Slowly Shaping Up!

The first draft of my Author Quest submission is starting to shape up.  Last week I came up with a much more exciting beginning to the story.  With that in place, I’ve had to rework a lot of the other pieces I’d already written but it’s been well worth it.  Everything is now reading a lot better.

The main thing that I added was a new character named Keefe.  Well, he isn’t really new per se, as I had planned on using him later in the story.  But originally the opening was very bland, full of a lot of exposition and very little dialogue.  Bringing Keefe into the story right from the beginning has given me a lot of room to draw out character and move things along without having to be bogged down in explaining everything.  Of course, adding him to the beginning has meant I’ve had to change a lot, which has been a really good thing for the story.

So with that said, I originally had four sections which I wanted to keep but knew needed very much to be fixed.  I have since “fixed” three of them.  The revisions are by no means perfect, and will themselves needed to be worked on, but the story is now flowing much better since I have reworked what I have.  I’m also currently up to 6 sections and just over 4000 words (although I’m not sure where the word count will be once I make the necessary revisions to that remaining unfixed section).

One thing I’m not really sure about yet is whether to submit my story in chapters or not.  So far I’ve just been separating the different sections and not worrying about it, but I have identified one place where I could easily put in a chapter break.  I’m not too worried about this right now though; I’ll just have to decide when I’m getting closer to submitting this story.

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No NaNoWriMo For Me This Year

I gave it a lot of thought, but decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year.

The biggest factor in this decision is that I want to devote my writing time to the Dark Crystal Author Quest.  I currently have a couple of thousand words written, but am going back constantly and editing things.  I considered writing a Dark Crystal novel during NaNoWriMo and using the parts of it that I liked as part of my submission, but that would leave me with only a month to polish things; in the end I decided that doing what I’m doing now is for the best.

I also toyed around with the idea of writing several short stories that would total 50,000 words.  Those I could use as part of my writing goals for the year (goals that have largely fallen by the wayside for a variety of reasons).  But once again, I decided that I need to focus on my Author Quest submission and thanks to some other commitments, don’t want to juggle any more projects at this time.

So I’m going to pass on NaNoWriMo this year.  But best of luck to everyone who is participating!

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