Monday, March 3, 2008

Deadlines can be good

So, my novel still has no ending. Well, it has an ending, but not the right one. And I have one, that should be the right one, in my head. But it's a bit like cutting into a fresh piece of fabric--I always have to grit my teeth and close my eyes and just start snipping or else I will never get the shapes cut out. There's always something a bit sad about destroying that smooth expanse of cloth. It's a good thing I never went into surgery, I don't think closing your eyes while making an incision would be a good practice. You wouldn't think that after 60k words that I'd feel like I'm staring at a blank sheet of paper (virtual paper), but I long ago gave up on explaining how my brain works and having anyone I'm not genetically similar to understand me.

I have, however, rewritten my first chapter, though I already know that it needs more work. I'm using it as my sort of final paper for my fiction class, which is good as I get feedback from the entire class (there are 4 plus the teacher). This one is better than my original, but keeps the same plot. (Future) Draft #3 nees a better opening, and I have an idea how to rearrange a couple of parts to give it one. I'm inspired, I suppose, by a "contest" I found on this blog. If I could do a little rewrite tonight, I could post my new intro by tomorrow's deadline and see what happens. Of course, with a book that's not complete, I'm not sure how valuable the "prize" is (a "critique" of a query letter and synopsis by the agents who own the blog, which could theoretically lead to being represented by said agents), and I'd have to rush to actually write a query letter and a synposis for a novel that's not complete either.

Then again, I always did work better with a deadline. Am I the only one who made a habit of finishing my homework during the passing period (you know, the 5 minutes right before the class where it was due)?


Kristi said...

I did it....I posted a first paragraph. Not horrible, I think. Don't have any idea how it will measure up to the other 100 or so that are already there, plus whatever shows up overnight. Ah well, if nothing else it is good for me. I did a bit of revision on the intro in order to get that paragraph to the top, and I think it's an improvement :)

Amanda said...

Homeroom was for homework not completed the night before. Oh, and if you got to class a few minutes early. If there was no homework to do, there was always a romance novel to read.

Kristi said...

By the time I was in high school, we didn't have "homeroom" anymore...though 1st period was longer and involved 10 minutes of "Channel One" which was some sort of student-geared news tv show that everyone had to watch. My 1st period was always color guard (yes, it was a class, met with the marching band), and extra time was usually spent changing shoes or sorting flags, rifles, gloves and things for practice.

Oh, I read plenty of novels inbetween class or at the end of class too....I still use the bookcover that I bought to disguise the bodice-ripper cover art so that none of the teachers would protest :)

Amanda said...

I'm only a year ahead of you in school, but I grew up in rural America where everything is a few years behind.