I’m plotting my plot. Tracking conflicts, crisis, and resolution. Monitoring character and relationship changes and growth. I’m going through each section of my novel, and writing down a paragraph or so about it. The events, and what the motivation is within each section, ultimately the purpose of the scene.
On my very tight time-frame, I gave myself one week for this work. Well, I’ve added a week and I am hoping this will be enough. It’s a slow process, much much slower than I anticipated. I thought it would be a matter of formula, instead I find myself pondering. So many questions are arising…it’s very interesting. Every step I take with this novel brings me further into it’s world, and just when I think I know all I can, I learn more.
My current WIP has been compared to Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Birth House. I have decided that now, when I am not writing but analyzing, is the perfect time to re-read them. I began with Girl with a Pearl Earring, and see some similarities, most so in the atmosphere of the book. I am a reader, and so when I read I tend to turn off the writer in me, yet this time I am trying to leave that part of me open. Especially in the opening scene of the book (my greatest difficulties with writing is openings…), and I see how Tracey Chevalier uses her language with description to define the setting:
“I was chopping vegetables in the kitchen when I heard voices outside our front door – a woman’s , bright as polished brass, and a man’s low and dark like the wood of the table I was working on. They were the kind of voices we heard rarely in our house. I could hear rich carpets in their voices, books and pearls and furs….My mother’s voice – a cooking pot, a flagon – approached from the front room…..The woman’s face was like an oval serving plate, flashing at times, dull at others.”
I was hesitant to re-read either book while still working on my wip, nervous that I would try to emulate those novels instead of letting mine be, but I am not encountering this problem. In fact, it has been quite inspirational. I’m wondering how others work – do you read similar novels as to your current WIP, or do you stay away?