Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Adding Harmony

I'm an edit-as-I-go writer. That's good in some ways. My first drafts are nice and I don't mind sharing them with people (helpful when I hook sisters or friends on an unfinished story - I can type into the night and email the next scene to them in the morning). I write chronologically, so I can build on the details from previous scenes without worrying if I'll change it later.

My second drafts look very similar to my first. I correct the typos others have found, smooth the wording in a few spots, and double-check historical details. Basically, it's the same, unless I'm writing a review and need to tighten the word count. Condensing my writing has gradually become easier for me - I don't even think about it much as I do it. And I'm getting better at guessing the 100 word mark.

Adding more words still looms as an unconquerable dragon, though. On piano, I love to pick out melodies of songs I've heard. Movies, mostly. Many years ago I figured out the theme music from the old Narnia movies and drove my siblings nuts as they tried to guess the "mystery song". It was pretty and simple. Then I added the chords, and the song suddenly changed. It became richer, almost more mature.

That's what I'm trying to do with my writing now. It's pretty - pretty simple - and way too short. Barebones dialog, action, gestures, and thoughts. A nice one-finger tune (think Schroeder and Jingle Bells in a Charlie Brown Christmas - "plink plink plink, plink plink plink, plink plink pling plong plink"), but who wants to immerse themselves in that?

So now I'm adding the harmony to my book, and it's harder than I thought. I scorn needless description, but it's definitely needed in my writing. Once I pencil in the basic chords, it should be okay. I can work from there. Maybe add a few bridges to vary the tempo. Or an intertwined tune for another instrument. I'm not sure. But that's the beauty of writing.

3 comments:

Becca said...

Are you my twin, Katie? ;)

I am quite barebones, too, usually chronological unless a later scene is pestering me to get on paper. Now I'm going through my novel trying to add in the things that should be there but are not my strengths.

We'll make it through this, I promise. :)

Katie Hart said...

Wonderful! I always wanted a twin! Now we know how to pray for each other.

Becca said...

Awesome. :)

Post a Comment