Thursday, 21 October 2010
One Hundred Pages
At 100 pages, I go back to the beginning and read through what I've done. This is the only read through I do and then I continue through to the end of the draft without looking back. I take the time to read these pages back because, for me, it allows me to absorb the characters that I have created. It also allows me to put to bed all those niggles.
The pages mainly consist of dialogue. I add description and, hopefully, depth on the second draft. I hardly know what any of the characters look like - well, I do in my mind but the reader doesn't yet - unless I happen to mention something that gives me cause to go into more detail.
I have a character who now has two backgrounds. I won't be sure until I've written a lot more which background is more crucial to the story. I have a husband and wife who well, let's just say they only have the marriage certificate left and not the relationship, who all of a sudden have become a more lovable couple who stick together through a new plot that is developing. I have research to do on one particular angle of a sub plot.
In other words (ha, words!) these pages are a mess. But they are pages that no one gets to see. So, really it's a licence to write rubbish. Rubbish can be edited. Rubbish can be amended and perfected. Rubbish gives me something to work with rather than a blank piece of paper.
I also open a word document at the beginning of writing the draft. This is where I put all the new ideas that form as I am writing. All those twists and plots that hadn't developed to their full potential start to develop by the time these 100 pages are written. This is the only time that I read through this and figure out if there is anything else forming that I need to concentrate on.
Then it's on to the next 300 pages...
How do you cope with an evolving novel until it gets under your skin?