Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wading Through Act Three

The story I’m currently working on is one that I’ve worked on, off and on, for nearly five years. It’s one that is very close to my heart, hence the ridiculously long gestation period. I can’t tell you how many drafts of this thing I’ve done, both whole and partial. But that’s beside the point. The point is, right now, I’m working on the latest draft (which I’ve taken to calling Draft XI, because I like how roman numerals look). After toiling with Act One for about a month and getting nowhere, I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while and work backwards, starting from the ending. I’ve decided to do so for a couple of reasons. Firstly, by finishing the resolution and ending I should have a better idea of what groundwork needs to be laid in Act One and Act Two. Secondly, I’ll be better able to set up the pacing and rising action if I know what I’m building to, pacing being one of the specific things I’ve decided to work on especially with this manuscript.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a plot firmly in place. I have an outline, I know the inciting event, the plot points, the subplots, the character arcs—all of these are in place. It isn’t necessarily a structural problem. The problem is that I’m too close to the project, and I’m losing sight of what is necessary and what can be cut. So having the ending written, in theory, should make some of that a bit clearer. At least that’s the hope.

Anyways, with that all said, I’ve been churning out Act Three for the better part of a month now, and it is exhausting. Mostly because its very action heavy, and, oddly, action scenes—full-on battle sequences, epic set pieces, explosions, stuff like that—have turned out to be my least favorite thing to write. Not sure why that is, especially considering that when I first started this whole writing thing the actions scenes were what I looked forward to the most.

But alas, though progress is slow, I am making headway. The goal now is to wrap up Act Three by the end of this month, but, since deadlines and I aren’t exactly the best of friends, only time will tell if I actually meet that goal.