Thursday, April 16, 2009


In the process of completing my next round of edits, I have found myself completely stuck on Chapter 6. I know I should skip it and go the next one except I’m kind of a sequential person, which is a whole other topic.

Here is how the last week has gone:

Go to my desk
See chapter 6 sitting beside my keyboard
Turn on my computer
Take a sideways glance at the first paragraph
Go to facebook and see what my family’s doing
Flip through the first few pages
Check my email
Open up Chapter 6, make one correction
Return to my email and confirm attendance at a soccer executive meeting
Switch back to Chapter 6, read paragraph one over and over again, shaking head
Read blogs
Make two more changes
Look at watch, time to make dinner

Last night I finally took a few deep breaths and sat down at my computer determined to go through the chapter. When I was finished I still wasn’t completely happy with it. This morning I couldn’t sleep (for a completely unrelated issue) so I got up at 5:45am and worked on it but only got four pages done before I had to get ready for work.

The problem is, chapter 6 is where I establish the setting for the rest of the book. I introduce the MC and the readers to a new world. I want to make sure I’m careful not to overload it with description. Instead I need to try to reveal things through the character and plot.

It’s tricky.

I’ll be back at it tonight. Wish me luck. All I need to do is get past Chapter 6 and it will be clear sailing. Ha Ha!


jessie said...

I know what you mean about getting stuck. I'm not editing right now, but I am stuck on a very crucial part of my story. And what I should do is make a note to go back and figure it out later. And really, by finishing the book, that crucial part may figure out itself. Yes, it is so easy to get stuck.

I think I understand your dilemma about overloading with description. You want to set it up but not dump everything on the reader at once, and have the reader discover the world with your MC as the story progresses.

JKB said...


I am trying to finish the present WIP and having the same exact result you've described here.

Patti said...

Jessie: I think if you finish the book then you'll get a better sense of direction. My first draft is almost completely different.

JKB: Good luck on finishing your WIP, I'm looking forward to starting another project.

Holly Kennedy said...

Best advice I can give you is FORCE YOURSELF to move past it to another chapter. ie, you'll be working on chapter 18 and a lightbulb will go off re: chapter 6 and it'll all come together.

It's how the creative mind works, which means a person has to fight the tendency to want order and organization.

P.S. If you could read the 1st, 2nd, even the 3rd draft of any of my novels and then compare that to the published book itself, you'd be amazed at how different they are.