Monday, March 26, 2012

Starting from Scratch (40 Scenes in 40 Days)

I'm making some changes to my plot. I'm adding an unexpected twist and a new conflict, but I still have one more important piece to my plot puzzle to figure out. I've been thinking on it for a few days now. I realized that this story should be told in first person, so I'm ripping my beginning and starting from scratch. I can either push my deadline into May or play catch up on the weekend. Considering that I'm in testing season (writing this week and reading coming up at the end of April), I'm inclined to push my self-imposed deadline out, rather than push myself while I'm tired from my school day.

Writing is hard work. Sometimes it feels as if you are giving blood, sweat, and tears to your manuscript. At times like this, I think about how kids feel. One page (which is equivalent to approximately 150-200 words) seems like a mountain to a nine year old -a mountain built by hand from the bottom up. It's not just the writing that makes it hard, but the thinking. You have to exercise the creative side of your brain, yet your story still needs logic, so both sides must work together. My students have to write to a prompt on demand Tuesday and Wednesday. Every time I go into state testing, I feel as if I'm taking 45 tests (2 classes) with no control over any of it. No wonder I'm exhausted from watching kids test all day! At least I can think on testing days (since I can't do anything else), so I will think about Melody and her journey, and perhaps I will figure out something new about my character and plot.

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