Sunday, February 15, 2009

B3 C'est Fini Twice

You are now entering The Spoiler Zone

I finished the first draft of This World We Live In Friday night, went to bed quite satisfied with myself, and woke up early Saturday morning and decided to junk much of what I'd written the night before. So I gave myself one more day of procrastination, returned to the ending of the book in the afternoon, and finished B3 for the second time Saturday evening.

In the Friday night version, probably because I was in a good mood, I didn't kill off Charlie. Saturday morning I realized without his death, things were a tad on the anticlimactic side (although I had come up with a nifty plot twist for those cursed safe town passes). I had originally planned for Charlie to fall, become paralyzed, beg for his death, get his wish, and Miranda would choose not to know who had put him out of his misery.

Now he just gets crushed to death, which makes the plot a little less unresolved.

The thing that fascinated me most was the Friday night version was 282 pages long, and the Saturday version, where I added Charlie's death, was 282 pages long. I have no idea how that happened. Then again, I don't really know how I wrote 282 pages, when every single day I had to work, I postponed and postponed and postponed again. But I definitely have a completed first draft, waiting for me to read it (which I will today, since I'm real curious about the book, having already forgotten most of what I've written).

After I read it, I'll put it aside for a week or so (this is a busy social week for me anyway, what with my birthday on Tuesday, lunch with my friend Geri on Thursday, and my cousin Danny's wedding on Sunday), and then reread it, noting where it needs work and where to put in chapter breaks. Then I'll do the rewriting/polishing. My guess is, now that I've killed off poor Charlie, that I'll need at least one more good Charlie scene, so the readers will be really upset when he dies. Charlie is a sweetheart of a character, but I don't recall him being that involved in the action for a stretch, and it could be helpful to throw him in a little bit more.

What did surprise me as I wrote was how involved Miranda and Alex got. I'd figured they'd have one little kiss, but whoo. By the end of the book, that one little kiss had turned into a lot more. I'm choosing not to know just how much more, but things do get pretty hot and heavy. Miranda does the pursuing, but Alex allows himself to get caught more than I had anticipated.

Syl, Matt's bride, also developed in ways I hadn't expected. I thought she'd be kind of a new agey airhead, and she has elements of that. But she's also a lot tougher than I'd originally intended, a lot more willing to confront reality (and to confront Mom).

And for those who worry about such things, there's religion all over the place- Sunday services and Bible study and hymn singing and the only religious character who doesn't make it is poor sweet Charlie. In fact, in celebration of the completion of the first draft, I think I'll go over to thirdmoonbook and put in Charlie's little sermon, so you can see what a darling he is.

And while you're at it, you can see what a darling I am also!


Anonymous said...

While Charlie, I'm sure, is a great character, my personal favorite is dad. I think he should get more wordage or perhaps a spin-off novel, The Adventures of Dad in a Big Moon World.

Okay, I believe that used up my silly quota for today.


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Glen-

If there's a quota on silly, I'm in deep trouble (and my word verification is kinkelin, which is pretty silly in and of itself).

At one point, fairly deep into the book, I considered killing off Dad. I gave him a nice little Polonius speech, but then I decided to let him live.

These books are the only place where I have power, and I try to use it wisely.

Anonymous said...

I always admired Polonious's speech, but then I realized what he was really saying...

By the way, my daughter got a 95 on LAWKI. She had to come up with the six most important scenes in the book and write them down on a piece of oak tag. She had a lot of fun writing it and threw a couple of pictures in for good measure (she loves to draw - and sing - and yell.) I told Shayna to tell the teacher that, if she didn't give her a good grade on the report, that the author would be very unhappy and it's not nice to make Susan Beth Pfeffer unhappy.)

I thought I would get my daughter to read DAG, but I'm not sure if that would be a good book for an eleven year old girl.



Anonymous said...

Hi Susan

Just wanted to wish you a happy birthday! Have a great one.


Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Glen-

I'm glad Shayna did so well on her report. My teachers had no problem giving me bad marks. I guess they didn't care if they made Susan Beth Pfeffer unhappy.

Of course, over a 75 book career, I've portrayed a few of those teachers in less than flattering (but always recognizable ways). I once heard a writer say, "Writing is revenge," and that was one lesson I took to heart!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Aoife-

Thank you for your bithday wishes.

I firmly believe in making the most of a birthday, so as far as I'm concerned it started with your greeting and will end no earlier than Sunday at my cousin Danny's wedding (hey, cake is cake).

The best birthday present I could have given myself was completing the first draft of B3. Now I can find whole new things to dawdle over!

Linda Jacobs said...

Hi Susan, Brithday weeks are great no matter how old we are. I had my 60th a couple weeks ago.

Congrats on fisnishing the first draft of B3! I'm getting excited!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good evening Linda Jacobs, you child you-

Ooh, my word verification is "blessese." I don't know what that means, but it has such a nice sound to it (kind of like a religious air freshener).

So far it's been an excellent start to my birthday week. I may have dawdled when it came to work, but I plunged headfirst into eating low nutrition high caloric birthday goodies.

I must type blessese into the secret box and see if this comment gets posted!

Anonymous said...

I'm a 14 year old boy, and I love the books!
I think it would be interesting to let us in on what's going on in the rest of the world, I live in England for example and it would be cool to know if the whole countries under water or whatever!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello to Alex-

I had this great idea once about franchising the Moon books, and having different writers in different countries take the same catastrophone, but writing thier country's version of it (a UK version, an Ausralian version, a Nigerian version, etc.).

I told my editor about it, and she thought it was too complicated, which most likely it would be.

But you're free to make up the British version of your choice!