Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rushing the Ending

Hi, my name is Erica, and I am an ending rusher.

Today I was adding 'date stamps' to my chapter headings on Drums so the reader (and I) can keep track of where and when a scene takes place. I worked my way through 35 chapters and the epilogue, dug out my research books just to make sure I hadn't gotten off track, recreated my hand-drawn calendar to double check my checking, and did a quick read through of my ending.

As I skimmed my scorchingly paced finale, I thought, "Georgiana and Kaye are never going to let me get away with this." LOL And it is so true. They both exhort me to flesh out the emotions, draw out the internal conflict, and stop skimming the hard stuff to get to the next scene.

God bless them.

This past week I rushed a scene that was...okay-ish...but had the potential to be so much more. They both recognized it as a pivotal scene in one character's journey (For which I was grateful, as that was my intent all along) but they both also recognized that I'd skipped a lot of the internal conflict, the visceral reaction that would be so natural given the circumstances I'd tossed the character into. My first instinct was to add more description of the setting and circumstances, but a further inquiry as to what the scene needed yeilded the answer I both anticipated and dreaded. More emotion, more character reaction to what I'd already thrown at him...not more 'stuff'.

The cool thing is, these girls teach, encourage, give 'atta-girls', speak truth, tell it plain, and all the time, I'm soaking it up. Each week it takes me more time to get my submission ready for critique, because I'm working to apply what I've learned in the previous week. So much to learn...so much already learned!

Another cool thing...you don't have to belong to this critique group to learn from these gals. Visit Kaye's blog: Write Place, Write Time for some of the best online writing courses I've come across (and free too!) and Georgiana's blogs, Georgiana D, and Honey Do for book reviews, homemaking tips and an all around fun time.

Tell 'em Erica sent you!


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  2. Awww . . . I'm blushing! :-)

    And lest anyone think that Erica is the only beneficiary of being part of this critique group, even after two years of grad school in a creative writing program, I learn something new to apply to my own writing process as they help me hone my writing to a better level through every critique I receive from Erica and Georgiana! They are truly blessings to me.

  3. Oh, I have to second Kaye's remarks! You know, I totally look forward to crit time:-) I think it's so cool that we got together.