Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Writing Wednesday: The middle of the first act.

In Science Fiction or Fantasy the middle of the first act is probably the toughest to write. There are a lot of things that need to make it to the page. I’ve introduced the characters and their situation in a way that is hopefully interesting. I’ve identified what their struggle is and what motivates them to take on the struggle. Now comes the middle of the first act where I have to dig a little deeper into their characters and make them 3-D while at the same time do some major world building.

In a book set in present day Earth the writer doesn’t have to go into heavy descriptions of the normal scenes, like if the main characters are going from the library to the suburbs you can have them hop in a car or taxi and everyone knows what that is like. In a future utopia that is based on a lie, it’s not that easy, as they have to take the convenient freedom tube filled with propaganda posters from the city to the ‘burbs.

As I’m writing this I have to show how growing up in this society that I’ve imagined has affected them and their outlook on life.

This section is the place that I have the hardest time, balancing character building, world building, and moving the plot forward while trying to avoid the horrible info-dump.

As you can guess by this little post I’ve fallen a little shy of my goal for writing this book. I’m currently at 8,000 words and I wanted to be around 10,000. Luckily I know how I write and once I hit the second act I speed up considerably then pound out the 20,000 to 30,000 word third act in about a week.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts


Stephanie Barr said...

It can be challenging. Usually, I set my subconscious to figuring it out and only write it when it's worked things out.

I like to use action and a matter of fact tone that makes it all seem "normal." It frequently helps to bring someone in who is less familiar. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible.

Good luck.

Project Savior said...

I've got the world worked out, it's actually a little more familiar than most of my worlds. It's like cross between Cold War suburban white America and an Apple Store. My two heroes aren't affected by the propaganda so they laugh about some of it's silliness. Like being taught that hiding under a school desk will save you from an Atomic Bomb.
I've just got to make propaganda for them to laugh at without making it too silly, but at the same time show the results of that propaganda on the rest of the world.
It's a fun but slow process.