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Author: Subject: "You should expand the first chapter"
Waits
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[*] posted on 7-1-2009 at 05:54 PM
"You should expand the first chapter"


I need an opinion on this one.

I know the general rules of the NoWriMo are no going back, no revision, just get the quantity goal and deal with the quality goal later. That's why I came here -- I'm an extremely undisciplined writer, and I'm held back by my own self-criticism. I've been talking about writing a novel for years, and I know I have the ability to do it, so this could be the perfect way to stop worrying about perfection and just get it out of me.

Anyway, I wrote my first chapter, and assuming I at least manage to write a couple hundred more words, I will be current with my 1,600 words for the day. I read my first chapter to a friend to see if she found it captivating enough (maybe this was my mistake), and she said it was good, but that I really should expand on what I have and make it a few chapters as opposed to a sort of rushed backstory. This would obviously involve me going back and adding and subtracting things, which would be against the spirit of the challenge, but here's my rationale for even considering it: I've never written anything longer than 10 pages before, and I may still be stuck in rushed-narrative short story mode. Leaving my first chapter as a rushed backstory, I could find my story losing steam around 20,000 words, or even less. I don't know; I've never done this before.

Anyway, tomorrow I could start writing in the middle of what I've got and I'd only have to subtract small amounts. Should I try this? Or should I just stick with it and stick it out, risking a meandering plot line down the road when I've got perfectly expandable material at the start?

It would probably be helpful to read what I have so far, but I'll take advice even if you haven't. Here's the first chapter: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dxq4qzn_32fc8qvmhh
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LunaKlipps
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[*] posted on 7-1-2009 at 11:02 PM


...

Wow.

Okay, i read your first chapter, and I must admit, It WAS a little short for my taste. HOWEVER, you included everything that needed to be, and it wasn't threadbare in details. You conveyed a lot through a little bit of english.

So here's what I think you should do:

Leave it. Don't touch it. Continue on with the story you have going now, and then if you reach a point where you find it impossible to go on, go back to it and use it to increase your word count.

You don't have to change it, but you can if you need to.




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[*] posted on 7-2-2009 at 03:36 PM


I agree with everything Luna said, up to and including the "wow". I'd also like to add that when you finish this book, I want to read it.



"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E. L. Doctorow
"Talent is like a faucet. When it is open, we can write. Inspiration is a farce, invented by poets to give themselves importance." ~Jean Anouilh
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Waits
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[*] posted on 7-2-2009 at 08:42 PM


Thanks to both of you for reading, and for the suggestions. I think I'll continue to plow through and save expansion for later. Here's to hoping my plot has enough steam.
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LunaKlipps
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[*] posted on 7-2-2009 at 09:37 PM


-raises a glass- Cheers, hun!



NaNoWriMo '08: Menda - EPIC FAIL - 3.344
JulNoWriMo '09: The Twin Gates - WIN! - 50k
NaNoWriMo '09: blink - WIN! - 50.077 - WIP
JulNoWriMo '10: Framed - Abandoned - 8.899
NaNoWriMo '10: Down - WIN! - 50.200 - WIP
JulNoEdMo '11: Down (Cont.) - WIP - Edit in Progress
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celesi
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 10:46 PM


Good luck! I'm resisting the urge to go back and fix things, too. My character just changed his motivation, and it is so hard not to go back and correct all of his introspection. The beginning is one of the hardest things to get right. After 3 rewrites, my friends still weren't impressed with my last novel's prologue.

If your plot seems to be slowing down, ask for ideas/help! I think most of us here would love to help you keep this story going.

And from personal experience, I wouldn't invite your inner critic out until after JulNo ends. Mine hasn't shut up since NaNo 07. Embrace your muse, and draw out that pesky red pen only when there's not an alternative. Hopefully, after your first draft!

Take notes on what needs fixed, and let that ease the temptation to rewrite. It's hard, I know!




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