I'll be one of about 20 authors signing books on Saturday. I know the majority of you aren't local, but this is our RWA chapter's annual event to raise money for the Adult Literacy League in Orlando. Twenty percent of the proceeds will be donated to the organization, thanks to Barnes & Noble. Literacy is near and dear to me, and I've been a volunteer for the Adult Literacy League for over a decade. I'm plugging the event here because I'd like you to think about donating something -- time, money, in-kind donations -- to a charitable organization you choose.
As I type this, I'm optimistic that I will have reached "The End" of my first draft of my mystery before this post hits the blog. Endings are harder for me than beginnings, and since it's a mystery and not a romance, I'm entering new territory. The bad guy is in custody. He's confessed. The hostage has been rescued. And the twist on the missing "secret" will hit the page.
The issue, as I'd mentioned earlier this week, is that since I know all the facts, the writing gets tedious. How can I present it to the reader so they feel the tension? Because I don't share those feelings. It's more of an, "Okay, get on with it" feeling. I've known what's going to happen long enough that there's no thrill.
However, I'm optimistic that one way or another, even if it's a dull, dry info dump, it'll be on the page. And then I can start to fix it. Allison Brennan shared numerous versions of her first chapter on her blog at Murder She Writes on Thursday. Knowing that a prolific, best-selling author doesn't get it down in one--or two--drafts makes me feel better.
And the final word count will be longer than my target. However, cutting 10% is always step one in edits. I'll be a lot closer after that step. Some of those cuts will be scenes that aren't needed. Some will be threads that never went anywhere. (Although I know I'll have the urge to expand them and work them in!)
Causes Terry Odell Supports
Pro Literacy Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy, The Adult Literacy League, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society