Friday 5th February 2021
I’m still absolutely shattered today. Whilst I didn’t have any more seminars, staying up until about 5am the last 3 nights have put my sleep schedule all out of whack, even after catching up on missing sleep.
As a result, today was a bit of a nothing day. I look at it in kinda the same way I look at the day after a big tournament or geocaching walk. It’s all part of the achievement. In order to do what you have the previous day, there’s a price to pay. Yes, today’s a write-off but only because you needed to put extra effort into the previous day. They’re all part of the same accomplishment.
So for once I wasn’t frustrated with my lack of progress.
Had I not had the seminars this week, I would have been working on editing The Shop At The Bottom Of The Hill, or re-reading another short story.
I have been thinking about the former though.
I’ve been trying to work out what I don’t like about the end. I tell the story I want to tell, yet the end feels like me hitting a bunch of notes close to, but not THE note. It’s an emotional beat, and I somehow miss it even though I get close.
My tactic for dealing with this is to unwind the story. First what’s the emotional beat or note I’m trying to strike. I may rewrite the end first, so I get that – although, continuing the musical analogy, all too often the right note is dependent on matching the key of the rest of the story.
I also need to look at character arcs. This story centers on two characters, only referred to as You and I. I think You’s emotional arc is 90% of the way there. It just needs tightening up in places. The other character though, I feel on reflection today, needs a clearer arc with emotional beat points. They’re currently everything at once and it manifests itself as a bit of indecision. I want to maintain some of the indecision but have clearer emotional growth.
This will mean going through and establishing a bit more of an order to things. The character thinks X at this point. This piece of plot causes them to alter their opinion to Y. Then something else will happen, and they will decide Z.
It all feels a bit clinical, but this is looking at it with an editor’s eye. I need to look at what it is that I’m trying to say and make it clearer.
This will probably need some thought over the weekend but hopefully I can take this shaggy rough draft and make it a little tighter, and in doing so, make the end hit the pitch perfect note that I want.
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