Racing The Clock #AmWriting

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Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Britney Spears.
Britney Spears who?
Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Oops, I did it again.

It seems massive rewrites and rearranging are a thing with Isto. In July of 2017 (crap, I’ve been working on this for a while), I did a major overhaul of the timeline. It worked out for the better, and I was able to finish writing the draft in August of 2018. But, as I mentioned last week, in August 2019, I decided more tweaking was necessary after a comment from my critique partner, Aldrea.

I just couldn’t bring myself to do the work.

The realization that December was upon us made me dig out my analytical hat and truly assess the greater problem. I took a deep breath, stepped back from the words and the characters, and applied what my friend Jim taught me of Story Structure.

Halfway between the middle and the end is the Second Plot Point (SPP). This is the point where the last piece of the puzzle comes into play. This is the last thing needed for the character to win, succeed, triumph. After this, no new information should enter the story; everything needed is already in place.

No new information.

That little line stuck in my head, despite my subconscious efforts to ignore it. (Thanks Jim.) I grudgingly admitted that I did bring in a couple of things past that point… things that didn’t have to do with the endgame, but were necessary for future books. In a time when I should be building tension to the final battle, I was detouring into side scenes that I couldn’t get rid of.

The solution? Move them. One to the beginning, one to the middle, one to the very end, after the final battle.

This, of course, incited several screaming fits on my part because it’s not just a simple word change here or there. But it did kick my productivity into high gear, and I’ve already tackled the move to the beginning.

I’ve got 3 weeks until the end of the year to finish the last two moves and make everything cohesive. Cross your fingers for me!

Got anything you’re trying to get done before the year’s up? What’s the longest it’s taken you to finish a project? Know any good knock, knock jokes?

Before I go, I want to let you all know that you can pick up Sarah Brentyn’s book, On the Edge of a Raindrop, for free on Amazon through tomorrow. If you like poignant tales, flash and micro fiction, and deep thoughts, you should definitely pick up a copy.

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

5 thoughts on “Racing The Clock #AmWriting

  1. Sarah Brentyn

    Thank you for the shout-out! 🙂 Much appreciated. Hope lots of people grab a free copy for the holidays.

    I won’t even mention how long my longest time is to finish a project (over a decade…just saying) but I’ve got you beat, I believe. Best of luck finishing up Isto. I know you can do it.

  2. Sometimes it is when the puzzle pieces start to fall into place that we get the renewal of energy. The hardest part of tackling a problem is identifying it.

  3. At this point, the Christmas knitting isn’t getting done before Christmas, so I’ve accepted that gifts are going out in January (or February). I’m not a fan of deadlines.

    The longest it’s taken me for a project… Well, if we don’t count books (I don’t think I’ve finished writing one yet), then six years for an afghan. And then from my records, there’s a sweater I’m knitting for me that I started in 2013. That’s also unfinished.

  4. Crossing my fingers for you.

  5. I hate rewrites. And re-planning. But all this hard work will pay off!

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