Part One, Third Draft!

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Good news was received recently and I am now officially a ‘Confirmed’ PhDer. The sigh of relief must have flowed around the valley where I live as it caressed the corners of my ‘high blood pressure’ pumping heart.

So, now the next stage has begun and I am working on the third draft of the first part of the novel. There are three parts and while I often eschew working in a linear way, it makes sense even to this rebel brain that the story needs to build properly in and on each part.

That said I have just finished the first five chapters and I am really loving how the story is starting to shine through the research data that is currently a lot of words and sentences on the page. At first I was a little nervous because I have found it is one thing to do the research and write down everything that I think needs to be in the story, and quite another to actually write the story itself, even though I know the story I want to tell. Sometimes I find I am just the typist and the story is unfolding for me as I sit at the computer. An example of what I am actually talking about goes like this –

In chapter four I have two characters discussing someone they don’t like because they think he is rude, arrogant and a horror to work for. When I had finished writing the chapter it still felt a little one-dimensional and this is even though the characters refer to a rather serious incident.

I thought a lot about how I could improve the story, could I have more dialogue? could I provide more description? After a little while it dawned on me (I know you don’t need to say it) that essentially all I was offering the reader is what is termed as ‘telling’. So, what next…well another important discovery for me is that I don’t think well on an empty stomach. Thus, after lunch yesterday I was at the computer re-reading the chapter and the penny dropped…the story would work better both as a ‘whole’ as well as in this particular chapter, if the incident itself was included as it happened rather than being referred to as a past event. Yesterday afternoon was spent re-writing the chapter and wow what a difference. Whether it is well written or not, at this stage I can now see the story moving out of its chrysalis.

As I am off to Melbourne tomorrow ‘conferencing’ I am really thrilled that I can send the third draft of the first part of the novel to my supervisor as promised.

She sighs and leaves the study. It’s lunchtime.

Have you had similar experiences? Would love to hear what you think…:)

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