Welcome to the website of writer Erin Boatkicker

Erin Boatkicker is a young writer with grand fantasies of using a handful of words to change someone’s life. She’s constantly busy and sometimes even surprises herself by how much time she can find to write. She’s a university student majoring, unsurprisingly, in creative writing, as well as working two jobs, learning to drive a car, planning a wedding, and dealing with her crazy but mostly lovable family. Right now, she's put all her other writing projects on hold and is focusing entirely on Only Make Believe, a novel she started for NaNoWriMo 2010. She hopes to have the first draft finished before November 2011.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Beauty of Re-writes

The version of The Circle I'm working on, was originally my Nanowrimo novel. I did not win it. I was only at around 13,000 words. I added a ton more that December, and January, and then started another draft at some point. Can't remember the date on it. That means, this draft is actually the second draft (except the end which I haven't written yet at all).

Some days I write without looking at my first draft. Other days, like today, I flip back and forth between the drafts. The great thing about this is, that you pick up on things you never noticed before. Things that don't quite make sense, or things that are almost way-too-much-of-a-cliche to exist.

For example, today I was writing the after effects of a fight scene. Missy, my narrator and main character (I've probably said that in several posts. This is the last time I'll mention it, I promise) was doing a LOT of running. She isn't a runner by any stretch of imagination. There is no logical way that she could do that much running without hurting the next day. And yet, in the first draft, after all that running, several miles worth, she's fine. No aches, no sores. She's not even unusually tired.... or at least, she wasn't. She will be now.

I love finding logic errors like that, because the more I find, the less will be in my final draft. It's only a little thing, but it's still something.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twin Drafts

Working hard on The Circle again, but I've got two matching drafts. Right now I'm focusing on the one I call "Christine's Surprise."

So why two drafts? Glad you asked. You may remember from my earlier post that Christine is pregnant. I've made peace with her internal debate over keeping the baby, but that didn't solve all my Christine's-Pregnancy-Related-Issues. This one I have been dealing with even longer than the abortion issue, but I figured it would sort itself out. I still think that eventually it will sort itself out, but this blog is about my writing process, so I thought I would share what's going on with all this.

I'm not sure how exactly Christine finds out she's pregnant. I have two different drafts with two different scenarios, neither of which I like. Originally, Christine confided in Missy as soon as she was suspicious, Missy got her a home pregnancy test, and when it came out positive, they went to the doctor. This is the way Christine and Missy handed it naturally.

However, in the end, Christine's pregnancy is only mildly important. It's such a minor part of the story that I almost feel guilty having all that build up for nothing. So I cut it all out. Christine thinks that "something is wrong" but doesn't say what. She goes straight to a doctor and finds out that she's pregnant. This works better plot-wise, but it's not the way that Christine would handle things. Call me crazy, but my characters are real people, and I don't like to force them to do things. If she wants to confide in Missy, let her.

Right now I have two drafts, and really wish I knew which one worked better. After a while it not longer matters how she found out, so I have skipped that bit for now and am working on what scenes come after. Sometimes it's best to let things sit and stew before you make a decision, and that's what I have here. I have written two beginnings for now, and wont touch them again for a while.

And a quick note on the subject of letting things stew, I have a few new story book ideas in the works. More about them in another post.

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