Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s good to be back! Thank you for sticking with me during that long stay away from the Writing Fisherman Blog. Really nothing new to tell in the fishing department as time on the water has been scarce and my luck when I do has been worse! So let me catch you up on what else I’ve been doing while away.
I finished NaNoWriMo and went into early December with most of my next novel written (34,000 words give or take). During which it has developed a sequel that slowed the process due in part to tie-ins between the books I wanted to figure out. I then took a couple of weeks away from writing to focus on family during the Holidays and my wife’s Winter break from college. Have I mentioned that I’m married to a college hottie? Wowza! I’d be remiss here if I didn’t also mention that the day after Valentines will be our Anniversary! Twenty years with my best friend, and true love, and it feels like only yesterday I was eating every meal at Dairy Queen just to get to know her.
My writing in January started slow at first but once I discovered key elements my story was missing it all began coming together. Since the end of the month, I’ve been on fire re-writing chapter after chapter. Character conflict and resolution, a story arch, new character insights, and fixing how to advance the story without giving away the end. I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with a current goal of March for a potential release of Nine-Mile Bridge. I’m going to do this! Then I take a earlier chapter to my writing group which I’ve missed attending for some time and that’s when I got the “bad beat.”
This is a poker term meaning you had the best hand with the cards available but are beaten when the last card falls (the River), revealing a better hand for your opponent.
It’s happened to me in Texas Hold ’em Tournaments. My worst was when my ace-high straight was beaten by a diamond flush on the River. These can’t be helped as it’s blind luck they got the card needed to beat me. The worst is when I’m so excited by what I’m holding that I don’t see what’s right in front of me. For example, I was thrilled to have pocket aces (two A’s in your hand) and a third is on the table. The rest of the cards are mostly crap, no pairs, nothing that could make a straight. When I push in my chips, my opponent smiles because I failed to realize there are three clubs on the table for their flush. Those times are the worst. When you’ve beaten yourself because you weren’t paying attention.
What I learned in Club that night is that, although everyone enjoyed it and spoke on my much-improvedness (my own word), there was something confusing chronologically speaking. I’d created multiple sessions of dialogue which would cover long periods of time without consideration that the world around shouldn’t be stopping. In particular my characters were discussing essential story information for hours on end at the restaurant they work at. I had them preparing for a dinner rush which, according to how I wrote it, wouldn’t have started until very late evening. That doesn’t vibe realistically with any eateries I know. I looked at other chapters and I’d done it there as well. Crap! How could I be so blind?! In trying to make my characters react realistically to each other I totally created a non-believable timeline of events without realizing it.
In the end, these mistake are going to make my story stronger through new editing and paying proper attention to the world around the characters. Namely their timeline. Thank goodness for Write It Now software which allows me to see the individual chapters so I can cut and paste scenes as needed. I’m also so very grateful for being part of a writing group that helps identify problems I could no longer see. If only my poker game came with such occasional help!
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again soon!