There was a write-in at the St. Louis Art Museum. From 1-4 I sat in an overstuffed chair (big enough for two, but I hogged up both spots with my stuff) and typed away on my laptop.
Okay, saying I typed away for several hours might give you--my one reader--with the impression that I got pages and pages down.
I just looked back on my WIP to see how much I actually got down. Less than a page, plus part of an author's note (it's historical). However, this was one of the hardest parts--the ending--and so I'm thrilled I got the last few paragraphs down.
Now the hardest part. There is a question at the end that's a crucial one for the main character (a young teenager named Henry). I've known--since the very beginning--that my first page is not how I want the reader to enter the story. However, it was how I had to enter into the character... so I need to completely revamp the beginning.
I want to have a hint of that question (that's at the end) in the beginning... and then perhaps insert a thread of the question here and there throughout the story. Then comes the next steps:
1) Finish the author's note. This is a historical event that very few people know about. There's some backstory and some details that were not covered in the story. To have a completely well-rounded view of what happened, an author's note is necessary.
2) Speak to an elderly person about some of the slang/expressions/products. I've included some of the expressions that my grandfather used. He was born in 1904. The story takes place in 1921. However, these are African American characters. What sayings were popular back then? I have a couple of lady senior citizens I'm going to sit down with and talk to. (I've highlighted all the word choices and phrases I'm curious/unsure about. Going over it page by page, I'll ask if they can remember their parents or grandparents saying anything similar.) Also, what kind of gum was popular back then? What kind of things did they hear from (unkind) white passersby?
|Now it's all about looking at the small details. Notice the small|
details in this painting. The way the towel is draped across one
shoulder. The guy on the right--see how his right foot is raised and angled?
3) Have a few of my students critically read it. They're close to my target audience (I envision it for 5th, 6th or 7th graders and my students are 8th graders). However, at least one student I'm thinking of is a reluctant reader. He was the one who kept prodding me--long after NaNoWriMo was finished--asking me, "So how's your story coming, Mrs. R?" If I can keep Danny interested, I have a chance with kids who enjoy reading...
4) Have my writing critique group read it. Hey, they willingly read my earlier manuscript, which was (and still is) a steaming, angry pile of poop. I actually think this is fairly decent. They might not have to drink large amounts of wine/eat large amounts of chocolate (Linda)/nibble on large amounts of bean sprouts (Lynn) to slog through this one...
How about you? What have you been proud of recently? Or, what have you finished/semi-finished recently? Nosey minds want to know...