If you’re waiting patiently (or impatiently) for Dream On, this is good news for you. (If you’re waiting – patiently or otherwise – for Against the Clock, this might not be such good news for you.) But I thought I should update you all with Dream On‘s progress. I’ve managed to spend a good few hours the last couple of weeks working on it – my new Thursday night ritual of going to the library after work to make myself write without any distractions seems to be working!
So now that I seem to have the plot nailed down (finally) and balanced properly between the A-plot (the “pony” part of the story) and the B plots (the “people” parts of the story), I’m going through what I’ve already written, and filling in the missing scenes. (This is because my writing technique is to write the most exciting and interesting parts of the story first, then come back and fill in the more day-to-day stuff later. For example, Marley’s final show jumping rounds with Cruise in Dare to Dream were written long before the scene between Kris and the social worker – that only came into the story in the second draft, when I read the first one and realised that there was way too much pony and not enough people in the book!)
I’m trying not to do too much editing at the moment, because that’s a really easy way to lose momentum, and to start second-guessing your writing. Some nights I sit down feeling super inspired and ready to go, and other nights I sit down with a scene outline and write a badly directed scene full of uninteresting dialogue. But I write it, and that’s the main thing. Right now, in the first draft stage, it’s not important that the dialogue is witty or that the prose is perfect – just that the scene is written down so that I know what happens and can build on that in the following scenes. I’ll come back to it at a later date and either tidy it up, rewrite it completely or delete the whole thing, if I decide that I don’t need it or can’t make it work. But I just need it written, for now. It’s like filling in the boring parts of a jigsaw puzzle – the plain blue piece that is part of the sky doesn’t look very exciting, but it’s got to get in there to complete the picture. (And just like a puzzle, often it’s those little scenes that are the hardest to do.)
So it’s back to the grindstone, but before I go, here’s a little excerpt from where I’m up to in the reviewing stage. Please note that this little extract is still in its first draft, and may or may not make the final cut, but it made me smile when I read it so hopefully you’ll enjoy it too.
And now…to work.
Short extract from first draft of “Dream On”:
“I’m starving!” Marley announced, throwing her schoolbag onto the floor and flinging open the fridge door. “Ooh, you’ve made casserole!”
Kris looked up from her seat at the table. “Don’t eat that! I’m saving it for dinner.”
“I’ll just have less at dinner time,” Marley told her, pulling the dish out and setting it on the table.
“No you won’t. Have some toast or something if you’re hungry.”
Marley pulled a face. “Toast isn’t a proper meal.”
“It’s four o’clock, it’s not time for a proper meal.”
“It is according to my stomach.”
“Nobody asked your stomach,” Kris replied as Van walked into the room.
“There’s a can of baked beans in the bottom of the pantry,” Van told Marley. “Heat them up. I’ll have some too.”
“No there isn’t, they’re in the casserole,” Marley pointed out. “I can see them.”
“So just eat the casserole.”
“Kris won’t let me.”
Van raised her eyebrows at Kris, who grabbed the casserole dish and put it back in the fridge. “Nobody is eating any of this until dinner time. We have company coming and there has to be something left to feed him.”
Marley’s head shot up. “Wait, who’s coming to dinner?” she asked.