Long time no see, readers.
It’s been a hectic week and a bit. I hope the absence was noted. If it wasn’t….eh, well, I’ll live another day.
I have been on the struggle bus lately, readers, with editing Opus Draft 1. Mostly because I think getting beginnings right is harder than trying to shoot a target with a blow dart blindfolded while riding a horse backwards.
Let that image sink it for a while.
Over the course of the many incarnations of Opus, I have rewritten the beginning four times. This first edit will make that five. Though I’m sure if an agent ever agrees to represent me, this will hardly be my last edit of the beginning. Each time, I’ve cut characters, lopped off extraneous villains (oh yes, in the beginning), and attempted to build up character development so it doesn’t sound like you’re reading about mopey zoo lions.
Because you are not.
Now I’ve whittled it down to the proper amount of characters (I hope), a good portion of character development and introduction (I think), and just made it better in general (maybe).
I think part of the difficulty stems from the pacing of the beginning. You want it to be fast enough to get a reader’s attention from the get-go, but by nature it will be fairly slow (unless you’re writing a movie-paced action thriller). Chances are, the characters are still moving into a sort of realization stage and only after that stage comes the really intense/fast paced/better parts of the story.
Beginning, by nature, tends toward exposition.
In short, my editing so far has been more about taking a hacksaw to the beginning and discriminately hacking away at bits and less about finely editing my prose with a surgical laser to make it beautiful and heart wrenching.
In short, over this week and a bit, I’ve literally finished two more pages since I last posted. I have only 14 pages edited.
I would have more, but part of that stems from something new that I’m trying out. I really like commercial fonts (you know, the ones that you see when you open up the pages of an honest to goodness book).
I’m conducting a small experiment and changing my font in Opus from Times New Roman to a font that looks similar to commercial fonts (but isn’t one so I could download it for free). I’m going to see if it a). makes any difference in the way my beta readers read the book and b) makes me edit faster and with more clarity.
It’s just a test, but I really really like looking at my book in pseudo-commercial font. It makes me feel official, in a way. Like I’m one step closer.
I’m going back to my one-song-per-post-music-thing, just so you know.
From the schemes playlist….
The Razor’s Edge by AC/DC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxQxPnHutjM
Since I have never been able to find a good instrumental version of this, I really only listen to the first 1:20 of this song. It’s epic, if I do say so myself. In the context of Opus, it is the backdrop for a very important plot line.
It just occurred to me that I listen to a very wide range of music.