Thursday, November 19, 2015

Update on Ace of Arts: Chapter 3

I thought I was going to get a lot of writing done this week, but then things happened. I wrote a new chapter on Saturday but then my mom came over on Sunday and I hung out with her instead of writing, and then I found out Drink and Draw is on Friday instead of Saturday so I've got to get my webcomic done early, and . . . so it turned out the chapter I wrote on Saturday was the only writing I got to do on the new book for the week. Boo.

The new word count is 7,976, with Chapter 3 weighing in at 2,545 words.

In it, I have introduced the not-useless guidance counselor--his name is Mr. Navarro--and I've gotten Megan moving with her motivation to consider going to college. We also got to meet her classmate Brady, who's pretty damn important in the book.

I'm not sure how exactly that development is going to look in the context of the story though. Megan is clearly irritated by Brady's very existence, and all her mental narration casts him as a total asshole, but his actions in the chapter aren't at all asshole material. I want this to suggest some layers of resentment and frustration for her that she's not really willing to acknowledge consciously, but I worry that readers will oversimplify and think she's just being a jerk. Guess we'll see. All I can do is put stuff there. I can't control what people do with it. I'll figure out later what level of nuance I need to use.

Also, I'm really not a settings person--I tend to describe conversation and interaction and mental experiences but not so much the world around people. I'm working really hard against my inclinations for this story because I feel like the protagonist would look at her environment a lot more than I do. I want her to filter the world around her through at least something like an artist's eye--which is not to say she romanticizes anything, but she does notice stuff. There should be a lot of details of the surroundings blended into her experiences. I hope it won't look shoehorned in since it's not my strength.

That's it for now!


  1. Heh, I'm not really an environment person either. The way I've tried to make myself into one is by making the world utterly vital. I forced myself to really focus on the environment in my last sci-fi book by really developing and mapping out the planet and primary space ship, and even that was troublesome. I'm also revising an urban fantasy story and I spent so much time just describing a generic city during the first draft that, upon going back, I settled on an actual place and keep turning to Google maps to get a good visual. I figured the "urban" part of "urban fantasy" can't go ignored, after all.

    I like your technique a lot more; having a character who's observant and therefore really notice their environment in a peculiar way. It sounds very cool. Keeps the focus on the character without losing the sense of the world.

    1. Yeah, I tend not to write environment-heavy books where understanding of the surroundings or mechanics of the world is important. I wish I was better at it, but I'm not good at it in the real world either--I get lost easily because of not really understanding how places work. If a place's geography or layout is important, I generally have to do what you described--get a picture of it.

      Since my character exists in an ordinary world, though, it's not as important for me to describe because I don't care how someone pictures, say, her school. There are some environments I have to be really particular about, though, and I'm excited about experimenting with it.