Had a huge breakthrough this morning.
It’s hard to describe how the writing has been going. Generally, I’m happy with it, but the Voice does tend to change from scene to scene. I’m not doing it on purpose — I think focusing on one scene at a time, while necessary, is probably affecting the Voice, tweaking it slightly. I’m definitely going to put it down to being a rookie novelist, but it still needs to be fixed. Normally, I’d say “that sounds like a third-draft problem” but I decided to address it this morning.
I think I’m tackling it successfully. One thing I did was re-read Hunter S. Thompson’s article “The Kentucky Derb is Decadent and Depraved“. What I noticed is that there is conflict in almost every sentence. Every sentence! Check it out for yourself. Sometimes it’s subtle and implied, but it’s there. That’s a level of tension that you just wouldn’t expect — and is surely hard to maintain.
But I’m trying it. I went back and “jacked up” that short little humourous scene I finished the other day. I haven’t gone back yet to re-read it, but I have a feeling I’ve improved it simply by trying to raise the stakes every single sentence.
It doesn’t have to be life or death, mind you. But it does have to be conflict. Fighting a dragon or fighting with a drip off an ice cream, there has to be conflict.
At least, that’s the direction I’m going to follow right now.
Another busy week coming up in my day job, so I’ll update when I can.