by Shelt Garner
After months of hard work on the first act, I took a scalpel to it and cut a number of chapters off. NOW the first act’s length makes sense. Rather than an enormous 65 scenes, it is at about 24. That number may increase a little bit, but I’m going to try to keep it at no more than 30 because the second act is about 60 scenes.
The upside to this very dramatic turn of events is I know the relationship of my different characters far better than I did. And there’s a lot of backstory I can allude to rather than show.
Of course, I think if I had a wife or a girlfriend who was my “reader” that I wouldn’t have gotten myself into such a dumb situation in the first place. But, I can’t help that I have no friends and no one likes me.
My next task is to totally revamp the beginning of the novel to accommodate the new beginning. There are some basic elements to the beginning of the novel that I am going to have to somehow shoehorn into a beginning that takes place deep into what was once the first act.
But even starting the novel where I do, I still solve a major problem with the previous beginning — people felt too much was being thrown at them. The new beginning has a little bit of lead in to the Big Event that gets the story going. I’m really pleased — at least at the moment — with what I’ve managed to come up with.
I was really sweating it there for a moment. I was afraid that readers were going to have to wade through way too many words to get to the point of the story. I’m a bit annoyed that I spent so much time all these scenes that will now be on the cutting room floor, if you will.
But those are the breaks, I guess when you have no one to help you. There is a chance that some of those scene will ultimately be used. I have a tendency to use scenes I’ve already written here and there when I need something. It’s like object oriented programing.