Friday, March 11, 2005

Let's Do The Time Warp Again ... For The First Time

I'm almost done with my first pass edit through my manuscript and two things have become painfully apparent.

The first is one that I've known all along: too much dialogue, not enough stage direction/interior monologue. Now, not all of the dialogue needs to stay -- probably half of it can go -- which means there will be less need for stage direction, which in and of itself doesn't add a whole lot to the book, but it may make the reading experience more enjoyable if the passages of dialogue are broken up a bit (sort of like this sentence could have been broken up a little bit).

The other thing has nagged me off and on, but as I'm nearing the end it's becoming obvious that the story is spread over too much time. It opens on Tuesday afternoon and ends sometime Saturday morning. That's simply too much time for anyone to spend in Graphite, Oregon, that doesn't have to be there (and until Revival makes it onto a college syllabus, no one is required to be there).

So the idea I'm toying with is to cut about 18 hours from the book. Instead of opening at 3p on Tuesday, it'll open at 9a on Wednesday. All the ancillary events (the girl dying and being brought back to life, the graveyard clean-up, etc.) will pretty much stick to the same schedule -- I really don't want to shift the Sheriff again. Graham's interview schedule, however, will be considerably compressed (and any interviews that are unnecessary can more easily be cut) and the pace ought to pick up as well.

When I get done with the first pass, I'll take a week or so off to rework the timeline, draw a city map, figure out the obvious cuts, etc.

It shouldn't be all that difficult. After all, It's just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right. Put your hands on your hips ... and so on.

Then comes the actual rewrite. Less easy, but if things flow better it ought to be a lot of fun, although I'll miss being driven insane by the pelvic thrusts. Oh well....

(Here are the lyrics to The Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show in case you've missed the pertinent pop-culture references in the above entry.)