Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Today is a tale of two novels.

With "Who Wants To Be A Hero?" I am almost finished with the climactic scene in the final round of the competition itself. Next up - judging. I decided, yes, I am going to do a "Reunion Show" mini-episode as a closing note. What has been unique about this project for me has been dealing with the metafictional aspects. The integrity of the story is my first concern, but there are some elements that go beyond the text.

For instance, if you watch enough of the skill-based competition reality TV that I favor (I feel have to put all those qualifiers, because I'm not talking about "Pimp My Ride," which isn't competition, or "The Biggest Loser," which isn't about skill - and neither of which I have any desire to watch) ... you notice that you can predict who will be in the top and the bottom by how often you see them feature during the episodes. In early episodes, when you're dealing with a massive amount of characters, this is simply necessary, but later the editing becomes an almost addictive guessing game.

I actually spent a decent amount of time each episode thinking about this effect. The primary way I could emulate this was length of scenes, but I also had another tool: the use of first person. So there's an additional balancing element to the guesswork - does a first person scene have more prominence than a third person scene? Is it a good sign or a bad sign? Or are we just hearing from this character because they're entertaining?

As far as "Scylla and Charybdis," the ending was bothering me ... and this last week, boom, I had an idea for how to solve my problem that fits perfectly into the framework of the previous sections of the book. It will require extensive alterations to the last few chapters, but I shouldn't have to completely rewrite anything. I have the whole rest of the book to get through to incubate on this idea and figure out how to do it ... there are two ways I could jump, and one of them is less wishy-washy, while the other is more in keeping with the "full circle" design of the plot arc. I do not get both, so I have to decide whether I want to have my cake or eat it. (How does that saying make sense, anyhow?)

Have decided that, whether or not I finish "Who Wants To Be A Hero?" within the next week-ish, I am going to start my editing on the 1st of March. That will involve altering my word count goals, which is just as well. Despite it being a weekly goal rather than a daily goal, I've started to beat myself up for not hitting 1k daily, and then turning additional words on top of that into a competition ... it's not healthy. I need a mental retread.

Not totally decided yet, but over the next week, I may post the current contenders for the next novel project. Need also to mull and decide if there are more than four. Sigh. ;-)

Word count for 2/17 - 2/23: 10,406

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