by Annette Dashofy
A couple of weeks ago I stated here for the entire world to see what my writing goals are for the summer. Several of you joined me in my goal setting. Since Will and Elizabeth (why am I suddenly thinking of Pirates of the Caribbean?) both picked the end of June as their personal deadlines, I thought I’d use today’s blog to check on everyone’s progress. Or lack thereof. Consider it a gentle nudge to get you back on track if you’ve completely lost focus.
When I set my goal (a more modest one: first draft by August 16) I figured a chapter a week would do it. Happily, I’m keeping to that pace…no small thanks to all the rain we got last week when I was on vacation. Not only did I finish a chapter, I made it almost halfway through THIS week’s chapter.
That’s a good thing, because I haven’t written a word yet this week. Leastways, nothing toward my goal.
Instead, I’m plotting murder. Fictional, of course. I know who gets killed and who does it. What I’m less sure of is all the details. When? Where? How? It happens off stage, but I’ve found the best way to handle these major scenes is to write them out. Not a word of it will end up in the finished product or even the first draft. But it’ll reveal things that my protagonists will find when they discover the crime.
Plus, this little unseen scene is FUN to write. It’s in the POV of one of the characters who doesn’t get a voice elsewhere, so I have a chance to get inside his head. He’s pretty smarmy, so it’s an interesting place to be. I’ve already learned tidbits about him that will be included in earlier scenes during the re-write.
This is a trick I stumbled on by accident and then had reinforced during a writing workshop I took recently. Write the backstory to the crime in the antagonist’s POV and in the victim’s POV. Go back as far as they know each other (don’t write a whole other book…no one else is going to see it, so feel free to tell rather than show) and take it right up to the murder. Usually I’ll then go back and fill in the times of the events as they unfold.
My question to everyone today is does anyone else do this kind of thing? Do you have any similar tricks you use to keep your facts straight?
And how are you doing with your word count? Especially Will and Elizabeth. Tick tock.