Filling Gaps

I’ve been trying to fill in some of the gaps in Mara’s Tale over the last couple of days.  There are a few challenges that come with this task.

First, the gaps are there for a reason.  Sometimes I hit a wall when writing the section, and couldn’t get past it.  Other times, I just ran out of creative steam and never went back to try to continue.  Either way, this means the gaps are often the parts I find less interesting, making them harder to write.

Another challenge is continuity (one of my big pet peeves).  If I jump into the middle of a scene, I have to make sure I know how far the story has gotten before I start writing.  I messed this up today and had to go back.  It was Mara’s first full day with the group of street kids; at this point she hasn’t really met many people in the area yet.  This means that when I had her recognizing a name, the story didn’t make sense.  It took a couple of tries to get the information I wanted into the scene in a way that kept it continuous with Mara’s current level of knowledge.  (I might still move it back a little in time, so I can go with my initial idea.  We’ll see how the rest of the pieces around it play out.)

The third challenge wouldn’t be a big deal if I wasn’t thinking about my word count.  So far the gaps I’ve been filling are not large, meaning that they don’t give me a lot of words.  (It’s mostly been finishing scenes and adding details up to this point.)  While it is very satisfying to conclude a scene and plug a hole, the pleasure is diminished when I look at the resulting word count.

I have a few bigger holes left to fill, and then I get to work on entire scenes and sections of the story.  Hopefully the word count will get rolling once I’ve finished the little patches and get moving on the bigger stuff!