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:~: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 :~:

Pushing the Boundries

I'm working on Dead Man's Hand. More than revision, but less than writing from scratch. I guess I'd call it rewriting.

And I'm noticing that this manuscript is different than my others. Not drastically different--it's still romantic suspense, still my typical 125k, there's still cops and murderers and crime scenes and forensics and red herrings.

But the other day I wrote an entire chapter--20 pages--in the hero's pov. The next chapter--another 20 pages--is entirely in the heroine's pov.

As a younger writer, I wouldn't have done that. I'd have broken the chapters up, added povs to keep up the pace. Now, I'm using other techniques to keep the tension high which automatically speeds the pace up. Neither technique is right or wrong, good or bad, just different.

I'm also using a lot more dialogue in this ms. Dialogue that is bursting with conflict, characterization, clues, quips, sarcasm and emotion. That automatically picks up the pace.

And I'm holding a lot back--both plot and character history--letting things unfold, not necisarily slower, but little by little and later in the story.

Of course, I won't know if it really works until I reread it, revise it and pass it by my CPs, my agent and ultimately sell. But I'm excited to have reached a maturity level as a writer to be able to look at my work, nudge the rules aside and try something new with confidence.

What new things have you tried with your writing that has worked...or not worked? When did you find confidence to take that risk and push your boundries in writing?



Blogger Paty Jager said...

The only new thing I can think of is having more patience with revisions and digging deeper with my emotions.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

Joan, the newest thing I'm doing is sticking to my strength--relationships. Before I was so worried about having enough plot, I stuck everything in my books.

I like what Paty says about digging deeper with my emotions. That's exactly what I did with this last book.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

The 5th book I wrote. I finally let my voice shine through on the page instead of holding back. It's made all the difference in my writing.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...


Patience with revisions...that I'd like to hear more about!! I've gone nearly insane with revisions, but still haven't quite developed the patience for them.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...


That's something I need to think about more. What are my strengths? And write deeper into those while cultivating my weaknesses but not focusing on them.

Great point.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...


I haven't quite figured out how to do that. In fact, I'm sure I haven't even found my deepest, strongest voice yet. I often find myself trying to hard to hone it and hear it. Yet, can't quite keep myself from doing that, which of course interferes.

Sigh. Time. I guess I need more time.

10:45 PM  

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