To my great disappointment, I wasn’t able to get to the gun shop last week. We had friends and family in town, threw a fabulous New Years Eve party (if I do say so myself), and spent the whole weekend cleaning up.
At said fabulous party, a good friend encouraged me to skip the gun shop and go straight for the shooting range. Dive right in.
I did my best Marge Simpson (rrrrmmmm, I don’t know), but he and his wife insisted. Being from Texas and Utah respectively they have experience with this kind of thing. So I agreed, and we will go shoot some stuff (paper targets?) next week. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, my goal for this week is to rewrite the first chapter (which I have spent the last month envisioning), and to outline the rest of the story, scene by scene, reorganizing as I go and chanting the following basic rules of scene work:
A scene is one place, one time.
Something must happen in a scene.
If nothing happens in the scene – cut it.
In the past couple of weeks I have re-read everything I’ve written on this project so far including the draft, some back-story explorations, and about thirty pages of a different version that I wrote last winter.
In each pile of pages I found a little something I can use in my revisions, but the scenes ramble and run together. Some of them have no point at all – I was just writing – which is fine for a first draft, but this is round two and the bar is much higher.
I’m going to work with flash cards, and outline each scene as a discrete unit. I’m hoping this will help me focus and make the task of rewriting so many pages less daunting.
While staring down the double barrel of rewriting 250 pages, the shooting range suddenly doesn’t seem so scary.