...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

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comeaux50
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...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby comeaux50 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:00 am


comeaux50
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...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby comeaux50 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:00 am

At the beginning of Chapter 3 of my novel, I can take off in several directions. That's the problem...which avenue to take. "Easier to Die" is a novel about the social and emotionally effects of obesity among five women (4 Blacks and one Hispanic) who have become friends. Chapters 1 and 2 are consumed with their emotional roller coaster ride of Shelley's death (the dominant leader of the group). Chapter 2 ends with the four going to the gravesite. Chapter 3 is an excellent place to break the girls apart in the writing and tear through their individual struggles. I can do this several ways. I can devote a chapter apiece for the four women, then join them together in Chapter 7 (Chapters 3-6 would end at the same point in time). OR I can mingle the women in during the same timeframe in Chapters 3 and 4, condensing the scenes, shortening the book, but it would be a tricky feat.

Do any of you have any thoughts on this? -- donna -- in Oklahoma

shevas
 

RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby shevas » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:40 am

HI,
Interesting question and very difficult to say. Is there a lenghty timeline before they meet again? If so then my first inclination (strictly from a reader pov, I've never written anything like that) is it would be better to devote a chapter to each woman. But on the other hand, its only one chapter each so it might work fine mingling them together.

One of my favorite books does the mingling thing with several characters. It takes place in short periods of time and over many chapters before they come together. It adds a sense of urgency and moves the story along very quickly.

I know, that was absolutely no help at all!

abqwriter
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RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby abqwriter » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:50 am

It really depends on the journey you want the reader to take.  If you want them to see the differences in the women's experiences, then I would suggest following each of the women simultaneously through the chapters.

If you want the readers to experience each of the women's journey more as a whole, then the devoted chapter would make sense. 

Happy Writing!


jmar2
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RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby jmar2 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:26 pm

When in doubt, ask them.

I do not mean to joke. Think like them. Say one of them, that loud brassy one, is really insecure. I think she would tell you that even if she was just crossing the street, she'd want one of the others to be waiting on the curb. Her chapter should probably involve interacting with all the others.

The strong one whose name I didn't like, she on the other hand probably doesn't really need anyone, she just thinks she does. Her chapter may begin as if it's going to involve others, but she's strong enough to go on alone.

That's what I mean about asking your characters. Hope that helps

John

mushanaa
 

RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby mushanaa » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:43 pm

I kind of like seperating them but while you are focusing on one they can mention the other ones but the main focus will one of the characters at a time. I think it makes it easier for the reader to follow along. I have also read books where each person speaks in the first person. I dont know if you know what I mean.

OmenSpirits.com
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RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby OmenSpirits.com » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:26 pm

Important question:

1. Are you writing Omnipotent or Third person

2. If Omnipotent, which is what I kinda figure, this is how you could write it, and remember, you are writing a novel, so you can explore these characters as long as it needs to take for them to say what they have to say: Each chapter has to have a point that moves, serves, and ultimately goes toward the ending of the story and not be mere filler:

Start off your chapter at the grave site, a scene showing them all together, then make that chapter about one of them: you can devote each chapter to each character, and keep the reader remembering that they are still at the grave site by beginning each chapter inside each woman's thoughts as she stands at the grave, along with the others. Each of them thinking back on what in there lives brought them to that day, standing with these other women.

jmar2
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RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby jmar2 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:02 pm

Oh I like that!  What you think Donna?  I think Bob is on to something.

John

comeaux50
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RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby comeaux50 » Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:11 pm

I'm skiddish about the flashback from the gravesite. BUT let me share with you what I've done. Chapter 1, the friend dies and they have a hard time w/it...kind of in shock. Chapter 2, they deal with the funeral and being pallbearers and all and it ends with them in the limo thinking about how they met (but I DON"T go into how the met, actually -- still trying to make up my mind if I want to do a flashback there. I'm avoiding the flashback and to be honest, I think I might be able to leave it out). Chapter 3 begins with Tina and how Shelley's death has affected her. --When my mother died in 1999, any and everything that happened to me came out of nowhere and resurfaced. Can't tell you why.-- That is what's happening to HTS. Shelley's death will force each of them to die trying to solve their issues of the past, or die for the lack thereof. Anyway, Tina is going through some major major issues--the headline type stuff. As soon as I smooth it out (it's too much of a rough draft to send to you now), I will send it to you. Tina took up two chapters. I wouldn't be surprised if the others will need two chapters also. BUT each individual's experience will end at the same point in time, then they will meet up OR be diverted to different geographic locations to live out the remainder of their lives. This will not be a warm fuzzy at the end where the girls stay friends and live happily ever after. (Sorry to those who wanted to remain in suspense.) It just wouldn't be real life if I ended it that way.

Tell me what you think. The story is beginning to unfold beautifully. I can't even tell that three days ago I was struggling so bad with this. Can you? Hmmm.

-- donna -- in Oklahoma

entropy_happens
 

RE: ...in a quandary - BRAINSTORMING ... need comments

Postby entropy_happens » Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:50 pm

If what you're doing is what works, keep at it! I think it's fine to take up a chapter or two per character, and then rejoin them all in a later chapter. It will make the reader know each character individually a little better, since this is the beginning of the novel.
Good luck! Post it when you're ready! :)
Lynne

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