Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WIP Wednesday: The Trickster Society and Pacing

Since I had Monday and Tuesday off work, I keep thinking today's Monday. No, it's Wednesday! I haven't done a WIP Wednesday post in forever.

The Trickster Society is coming along slowly. I wondered today why it was taking me so freaking long to get through every scene; then I realized I was stopping frequently to do research on various details connected with the setting or upcoming scenes. Usually I just make that shit up. My slow pace makes me think I'm overwriting, but I'm less than 10,000 words in.

I'm still not sure about the pacing. In the first chapter, Ivy endures a disastrous job interview; in the second chapter, her friend Robin introduces the idea of blowing off steam by running around at night pulling pranks and channeling their inner tricksters; in the third chapter, I introduce the rest of the main characters and have them all take up the trickster idea; in the fourth chapter, Ivy follows a group of shadow people (which she can see but most people can't) and discovers Something Horrible that she's going to need to ask her friends to help her with.

Now, keep in mind that my chapters are very short--around three thousand words. Still, four chapters seems a long time to make a reader wait to get to the main plot (although I've dropped some hints before). If I jump right into the action, though, not only will it make no sense, it'll also mess up the entire plot. I'm starting to see why so many books use the trite method of having a teaser first chapter with a snippet of action from later on in the book. I may be forced to do that, although I really hope not because I hate it when I read it in other people's books. When I'm reading, I don't mind if the plot doesn't hit the ground running; I don't mind finding out a little about the world and characters first--as long as the author isn't infodumping and as long as I'm getting hints of the action to come.

14 comments:

Danielle Ferries said...

You cracked me up about the research bit. I create fictional towns so I can be lazy about research :)

K.C. Shaw said...

That's why I love alternate-world fantasies. The "this is easy, I can just look up the details I need!" cuts both ways. It is easy, but it's also way more time-consuming than just making it all up. :)

BT said...

Do you have you hook in the first chapter? Preferably on the first page?

If you do, then I'm guessing the pace will be fine as people will keep reading to find out more about what hooked them in the first place.

If you don't, then maybe that's what you're missing and have subconsciously noticed it not being there, or is not there with enough force to appease you.

Jameson T. Caine said...

While there's something to be said for a story that grabs you by the neck on the first page and runs frantically through the book, I always favor a slower build. I enjoy the time to introduce the characters and the world they inhabit before sending them through hell.

As for the research/make shit up dichotomy, I tend to go both ways. Lots of my stories are set in very real locations, but when the real place lacks something I need for the story, that's when I make shit up.

The word verification I just got is "faillola." First I don't even know who Lola is, never mind why I should be failing her.

K.C. Shaw said...

BT--Ah, you may very well be right. Thanks! Now that I know what to look for, I think it'll be an easy fix. And I should probably sprinkle a few more ominous clues into the first chapter to set things up.

Jameson--I like the slow build-up a lot of times too. Of course, I also like a hit the ground running book sometimes. Basically, I guess if a book's holding my interest and engaging me, I don't care what the author does.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Ah, then you'll love TOXIC. If it wasn't for the occasional creepy diary entry, you would think it was a delightful sexual romp.

K.C. Shaw said...

Sounds good to me. :)

Jamie Eyberg said...

I worry about pacing as well. I am also lazy with research but I blame cheese for that.

K.C. Shaw said...

I blame cheese for everything. It can take it.

Aaron Polson said...

Pacing will sort itself on rewrites. (at least that's what you should tell yourself in the midst of things)

Cate Gardner said...

You always seem to put so much thought into your plotting. I'm sure the pacing will work itself out.

K.C. Shaw said...

Aaron--That's what I need to remember. The important part is to get a draft finished. Then I can fix the problems.

Cate--I put a lot of thought into plotting, and yet somehow it never works out without a lot of revisions. Well, some revisions.

LMEighmy said...

Your book sounds awesome! I can't wait to see it on sale at the book stores someday! :D

K.C. Shaw said...

Let's hope it makes it to bookstore shelves! Unfortunately, I've got to finish the thing first.