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July 18, 2011

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Melissa

"Or maybe I'll keep things as they are. I haven't decided." I can relate to this. Oh, boy, can I ever! LOL This line is what I'd say to a CP every time I sent over a new rearranged version, along with questions like, "does it make more sense this way?" or "is there more surprise/suspense this way?" How many times can you ask these two questions over the course of a story? Well...a lot. Maybe this is why I haven't had a CP for a long while. LOL

Of course, when I asked those two questions I'd always get two answers...yes, this makes more sense this way or yes, this has more surprise this way. But not both. So I'd be stuck with great answers and trying to choose between the two when what I really wanted was both. What a process to sort it all out! I get the feeling I'm just one "rearrangement" away from making surprise and making sense versions play nicely together and merging the two.

The hardest part for me is letting those two versions duke it out, letting one or the other win as they see fit, and just getting it all written out without interfering so much. Trust that when the dust settles we can work on compromises. Or maybe keep things as they are. I haven't decided. :)

Maureen O. Betita

Hmmmm... I don't always do things in order, I sometimes backtrack. I sometimes don't. I figure...well, it's like RL in someways. There are always the revelations that come out of the time line...

Honestly, I guess I write them as I have them! LOL!

julie gardner

I'm dealing with this issue right now in my current WIP.

Out of approximately 200 pages, I had over 25 pages of flashback chapters...

I took them out to see how the story read without them and now don't want to put them back...

I'd kind of rather dribble the information throughout the present instead of stand-alone flashback chapters.

But I don't know. I guess that's the beauty and challenge of writing. So many options and they are all up to you.

Do I start with a prologue that explains a lot of the character's motivation or is it better to learn it later?

Let me know what you decide to do with your hero/heroine.

And good luck to you, no matter which direction you take...

Donna Cummings

Melissa, I love how you're "one rearrangement" away from having the two versions play nice together. LOL And I kinda wait until the dust settles (i.e., during revisions) to decide who will be the victor. Because my mind likes to play with the possibilities while I'm drafting. I think about the different options without really having to commit at that time.

Sometimes it's why I have more than one version of my story on the hard drive. LOL I just have to keep track of which one is the "current" one!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, I'm the same way -- I write it as it occurs to me, and then I take notes, so I can ponder if I need to add info, or take it out, or whatever the heck I think will make things better. LOL

That's the good part about revisions -- you can change them to fit things (unlike RL). LOL

Donna Cummings

Julie, you're right about the beauty of writing giving you those choices. That's what makes everyone's stories so intriguing, because we all have such different methods of telling our tales.

I think flashbacks and prologues can be an effective way to "show, don't tell" -- the scene is unfolding for the reader as if it is currently happening. But it's true that the info can also be fed throughout the story.

Your decision about whether to have the character's motivation in the prologue is similar to my dilemma. LOL We'll have to check in and see which choices we each made. :)

Maureen O. Betita

You know, Donna... I seldom revise and put things in their 'proper' timeline. I sorta like keeping things where they would occur in real life. Including those revelations that always occur after-the-fact!

;-)

Donna Cummings

Maureen, what I meant by revising to put things in their "proper" place was putting things where they best serve the story -- which aren't always in the actual timeline. :)

I think we're both doing the same thing but saying it differently. LOL Which is what writers do!

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