Books Of Change

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A Study of Magic: The Application Update

burning night oil writing again

It’s done, it’s done, chapter nine is finally up!

Ahem.

A Study of Magic, the Application was updated. Here, Harry has an important epiphany: HE CAN DATE NOW. Sherlock and John raised him too well for him to start eyeing every pretty girl as a potential *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*, but the idea makes him giddy. Unfortunately, very few people know about the dating ban Harry had imposed upon himself, and make all sorts of assumptions.

Now for the postmortem:

Plot and Characterization

The character I struggled with the most was Ron this time. He wants to feel significant, and that can play out in a number of interesting ways. But this is ultimately Harry’s story, so even Ron’s struggles have to be tied to that main thread. In the end, I deliberately chose to set aside Ron’s troubles (for now) because Harry’s actions alone was building a beautiful cascade of events.

Speaking of cascades … I love them. The groove of going from triggering event, to build up, to natural stop is like no other. Writing Harry from giddy epiphany to crushing disappointment was exhilarating. Poor Harry, though. His whatever with Susan Bones ended before it could start.

Write Count Improvements

This year, I’ve been trying to improve my ability to churn out stories. The reoccurring writing advice I get for that end is: “don’t edit when you write” and “your first draft is going to suck”. I don’t think I ever had a problem with my first draft being terrible. As a programmer, I know my first effort rarely survive the first contact with testing. Not editing is harder because I write like I code.

Each chapter I set an overarching goal. Then I break it down into scenes, each scene having its end goal. After I write it out, I unit test my scenes. If it works, I move on. If it doesn’t work or doesn’t fit the overarching story, I discard them or edit them. From what I understand, you’re not supposed to edit until you’re done writing the whole story. I don’t know if I can this. Writer though I may be, I’m also an engineer at heart. As such, I approach writing like an engineering problem: break it down into smaller chunks, find a solution, and test, test, test. Unit testing, system testing, and smoke testing.

It’ll probably turn out I’m doing what other writers do to edit, but use different terms. Oh well.

Rant

There are times I want to take A Study In Magic and go through a thorough editing. The downside of creating a story in a serial format is that the finished product can be rough. I expect it to be more so with ASIM:TA since I won’t be relying on Canon plot at all. Eeek.

4 Comments

  1. Adam Longstreth

    2017-04-17 at 11:28 am

    I’m so excited you’ve resumed writing ASIM!!! I had lost all hope of you continuing… -no reflection on you, I understand the speed of life all to well… Thank you so much!! Looking forward with GREAT anticipation to the next chapter!! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

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