Daily Progress Report & Compulsion To Distill

HOC: 1492

Daily Goal: Met

Since the big read through a couple of weeks ago, which prompted the storyboarding and rearrangement of my timeline in the name of building suspense, I have been slowly processing other things that need to be done. Not only am I adding in quite a few scenes from my bad guys, rearranging when stuff happens to make the actions start earlier in the story, but I am also feeling very compelled lately to cut all the fluff and take all the non-suspense scenes and distill them down to the bare minimum–to be more efficient in my word usage. I suppose some of it is that I am feeling the pinch, so to speak. I see so much of what still needs to be told in the last 30k, and I look at all the scenes I am having to insert or rewrite entirely and thinking that I’ll never keep it to 100k! I’ve also been going through and looking at my scenes from the spring forward, fall back technique that I blogged about the other day and trying to use that as a rule of thumb to keep things moving. I also read a great blog the other day over at Paperback Writer where she discusses scene building. In it, she mentions the 5 P’s of writing a scene:

1. People: Who needs to be in this scene?
2. Place: Where does the scene happen?
3. Plot: What part of the plot is involved in this scene?
4. Progression: How will this scene move the story along?
5. Point: Does the scene serve the story?


She also describes an exercise where you pretend you’re making a 911 call and distill the scene down to its very basics of need to know information. As my husband is a 911 Emergency Dispatcher, this one particularly resonates with me. So I did this and the spring forward, fall back technique on the Thanksgiving Dinner scene today, with fairly good results. I will slowly be doing this to all the scenes, and hopefully will be left with a tightly written, suspenseful narrative in the end.

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