Adieu to Vic and Ray

Now I have all the original ten pages of Deadline entered into the notebook complete with the necessary changes. But now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t start with the second chapter, which is the fortieth birthday of the lead character. I’ll have to see. The chapter I’m working on introduces five characters during its length, in a setting that is common for all of them. Probably better that way than to have a reader confused and saying who are all of these people and why are they trying to get this guy drunk?

As it is now, I realize there’s more material I needed to add in addition to what I’ve already inserted. Instead of doing it yet again, I plan to write on the back of the affected page, with notes on where it goes on the other side.

I’m may get this thing written by hand after all, but I’m going to make myself crazy in the process. I think I’ve been spoiled by the “insert here” nature of word processors over the last sixteen years (yeah, I bought one of the first versions of MS Word and have been using it ever since).

The development worth mentioning in my work on And/News tonight is the volume of stuff I left out of the reconciled outline while finishing off the chapter. At the time I put it in, I thought it was all necessary, but as I got to the point where I was using it, I decided that there was the risk of overplaying a character’s description of an emotional betrayal. I decided to give minimal details and let the readers fill in the blanks to their own level of comfort, as opposed to turning things into the Jerry-Springer-Show-In-A-Van-On-The-Way-To-Los-Angeles.

Also left out was a scene where Vic and Ray explained a plan that is of importance to Richard and K. When I was looking at the outline a couple of days ago, I realized that I had figured out a better way to do it. Instead of going through the explanation, I simply jumped to the implementation of their plan, alluding to the unseen conversation in other ways. All told, I probably jettisoned about a quarter of what I had scheduled for this chapter. Again, the audience is left to fill in the blanks (if either of these bits had something of dire importance, I would have taken a different approach).

In fact, I think that’s one thing that a lot of writers do that results in the tragic over-writing and over-description we see in novels: They underestimate the intelligence of the reading public and try to spoon feed everything into their brains.

It seems that Hollywood has been a bad, bad example on all of us.

I did all this and added a rhythmic guitar part to the anniversary song I’ve been recording. Of course, I can hear all my mistakes and buzzed notes, but I’m having a great time.

Today’s Scorecard:

And/News – Chapter Seventeen
587 pages (+10)
128238 words (+1294)

Deadline – Chapter One
10 pages (+10)
1120 words (+560)*

NP – iTSP (Peter Gabriel, “On The Air” [Live] )


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