Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Anatomy 101

Science was one of my favourite subjects. In fact I did very well in it. In chemistry you learn how to put various chemicals together to change their atomic structure resulting in new substances. We made esters one day using this process... Banana, mint, and nail polish. That was interesting. They actually smelt like banana, mint and nail polish even though they weren't. Of course, it's your own opinion if the resulting combination is better than the parts used to make it. I'm not partial to banana's myself and am not about to go around smelling nail polish either.

So, after a weekend of thought I have almost finished making notes all over my story. The one I have to cut and have decided that the word cut essentially means to remove parts... I don't like that word. I have now come up with a new term I'm going to use. No longer am I going to try and cut the story down by 700-800 words, rather I'm going to try and tighten it into 3500-3600 words. And to do this I am developing this elaborate process of study.

My Hypothesis:
If I know what each integral piece is and can visualize it, then I will see where it is tight and where I can tighten and condense it into less space on the page (without changing the font size :P)

My Method:
1) I must finish marking up what each sentence or idea contributes to the story.
2) Tape all 15 pages to the wall so I can see them.
3) Take giant circle drawn for the plot and I am going to take a photocopy of the marked up paper and divide it up into all it's parts: beginning, scenes, transitions, climaxes, end, and so on.
4) Tack the parts onto the circle
5) Make lines linking the various story threads with different coloured pens. Should be quite piece of work when I'm done.

My results:
Hopefully my hypothesis will be correct and I will be able to clearly see all the story threads and pieces and know why they are there. This will enable me to better be able to know what the integral parts are and to make sure I don't miss any by accident. It will also allow me to see what is condensed enough and what areas are drawn out and could be combined into shorter pieces within the story. Once all the excess words are removed I will still have the same story, but it will be stronger and more potent and take up less space on the page. Kind of like making esters, ingredient A + ingredient B = Result ABC

I love it! And yes, I suppose this is rather a wordy post :)


  1. my God...that sounds exhausting...wait a minute, it sounds like my life right now! No wonder I drink so much wine...

  2. Well... I have noticed my wine intake has increased lately too. In actuality I found step one was all I needed as it gave me a good clear overview, showed me what was working welll and what needed improvement and that was enough to work with. What else really helped was asking a friend what he would cut. That showed me the part he hadn't understood and enabled me to fix it :)