Update on the Steampunk Work In Progress

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

“A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

To be completely honest, I’m frozen at the moment. I have so much work I need to do, after the slash and burn of the first three chapters, I’m scared I will ‘ruin’ what I have left, even though I know I had to get rid of the fatty, useless info dumps, and put a fire under the slow build up.

I’ve been doing extra research, which won’t be wasted, but it is really just avoidance behaviour. I work on other things to fulfill a sense of achievement. I’ve applied for a couple of dream jobs right out of my reach (they can only say ‘no’). I’ve even gone and cut off all my hair – usually a sure fire method to perk up my muse (it didn’t, but I look amazing). But I still feel like my Alice is running the Red Queen’s Race. I’ve been doing a lot of work without really feeling like I am getting anywhere.

So, I’m taking my own advice. I am going to step back for a couple of weeks, and give myself a chance to catch my breath. It won’t stop me from thinking about the WiP, but it will give my muse a busman’s holiday. With any luck, I will be able to jump back into the narrative with renewed enthusiasm.

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6 Comments

Filed under Steampunk Work-in-Progress

6 responses to “Update on the Steampunk Work In Progress

  1. When I was famous, and the world was clamouring for my bon mots (which fell from my lips like unto a gentle rain from heaven (or to the unimaginative – like spit)), I advised my students to ask of their story one thing: “Have I started you too soon? Or not soon enough?”
    In my own revisions I have sometimes tracked wildly forwards, dumping entire scenes, characters and (oh the pain!) dialogues. Other times backwards – sometimes only by a matter of hours.
    All the clues were in my late-birth-laboured attempts to expositionise* key bits of my backstory.
    As for info-dumps – that’s where they belong. In the dump!
    Instead: slice them thinly and use the slices to decorate your subsequent scenes and conversations. You might even place them as decorations in the centre of the table – allowing your guests can discuss said curios as they wait for the (fashionably late) entrance of the next plot-twist.

    * I made the word up. it was time.

  2. Ah, I like the advice about info dumps! Something to keep in mind when attempting to make my characters (and readers) digest an encyclopedia.

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