Friday, October 19, 2007


I've hit a rut. A deep, muddy groove. Greenwood Girls, or rather my protagonist, Dree Henderson has failed to impress. Lately, I've been in a sort of funk with the book. I've felt there was something missing but couldn't quite put my finger on it. My writing teacher and critique group have hinted at my problem for quite some time. But more recently, an agent flat out said that the voice of Dree could be stronger.
I'm kind of a direct person, so the direct approach worked for me. Now I need to fix the problem. I've talked to my writing pal, Maggie about this, and we both agree that I need to focus on adding brushstrokes to my characters and possibly (gasp!) eliminating a supporting character. Maybe the supporting character is stealing away precious screen time from Dree? It's entirely possible.
I decided to take everyones advice and breakdown into steps what I need to do. So far my list looks like this:

  1. Write out each scene on an index card. Okay, not easy. If you work on a Mac, a friend of mine suggested the program Scrivener to help you sort scenes out. I wanted to do this so I could really identify what a scene was supposed to do and who should be in the scene. This would be my way to see if one or more characters could be eliminated or reduced in importance. I guess the idea is to give as many great lines as possible to Dree. After all, she's worked hard for them.
  2. Rewrite the first chapter. This might be the tenth time I've done so but I'm prepared to do it again. I plan to keep the basic scene structure but this time add a new dimension to my MC. I've already done this and love how it's turned out. To prepare for a different mind set, I researched some of my favorite and not-so-favorite gymnasts and got some new ideas on how Dree might react to certain ideas, events. Not done though. I'm still working on her characterization.
  3. Add brush strokes. This has become somewhat of a buzz word in our writing class. But it's a powerful concept. Instead of walking on the surface of a scene, I need to dip in deeper--add a few brushstrokes, so we say. This part requires that every sentence be analyzed and adjusted. Yikes.
So, I have my work cut out for me. Writing a novel is all about revisions. Best part? Finally understanding what needs fine tuning and what needs an overhaul.

I think I'm becoming a writer.


  1. You are a writer! A brave and determined one. Love your plans and your cork board--Scrivener's got nothing on you. Your dedication to the process of writing is inspiring.

    Go Dree! Maggie

  2. Thanks, Maggie. Your words are always inspirational. Big Sur is going to be amazing.

  3. Hey!
    Try reading Sandra Scofield's book, Scenes. It's a gem and will help you sort this out.


  4. Thanks Darcy!
    I just checked out Sandra's website and her book looks great. It might be exactly what I need. Thanks for the suggestion.


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