I had my second coaching Skype sessions with Gabriela Lessa. In preparation, I sent her my list of characters, list of scenes (the end not quite figured out), and my story calendar.
Wow. Lots of stuff to think about. Too many things flew through my head after we finished. (Shoulda’ taken more notes.) I’m still wondering… did I get this all right? Am I mixing stuff up in my head?
Information overload! (Thank goodness I can e-mail her any time I have a question) And I hope she doesn’t read this just in case I messed up something that she said!
I had another decision to make. What were the long-term goals for my main character Chloe? I had thought it was for Chloe to become comfortable with her sexuality and to repair the broken relationship with her mother.
Then Gabi also asked me what relationship I wanted to concentrate on. The relationship of: Chloe/mother or Chloe/love interest or Chloe/brother?
I thought it was for Chloe and her mother, but as I looked through what I had written, I realized that the Chloe/love interest relationship was most important. Chloe still needs to repair the relationship with her mother, but it’s not the main core of my story. If I wanted it to be Chloe/mother, I would have to make some major changes. But that’s not what I wanted.
So anyways, the long-term goal for Chloe was to become comfortable with who she was. And the love interest was the main tool that helped her get there. That’s settled.
I had given Gabi a list of scenes, some I’ve written, some not and my first twenty pages. She pointed out a few things.
My first chapter included a scene with Chloe and her two college suitemates at a frat party. Gabi didn’t think that was a good idea because my first pages gave the wrong impression to the reader—that it was sort of a chick-litish story—which was not my intention.
Also I don’t want to have a scene just to introduce some characters. And really, that’s all it was. There was no goal for Chloe and it didn’t really move the story forward. It was just a way to introduce Chloe’s suitemates and the guy who becomes her friend. Taking it out won’t affect the story.
Additionally, starting with a frat party isn’t that interesting or unique and since the two suitemates don’t have that big of role in the story, why would I start with them?
So I will rearrange and probably take out the frat party chapter/scene.
Gabi pointed out another thing. I need to make sure I get my focus right. I was focusing too much on the action and not enough on how much it affects Chloe. How does it change her inside? What is her reaction to what happened? Not that I didn’t do this at all, but I concentrated more on the action than the results of that action.
As I said, it was information overload, and I’m trying to keep everything straight. We covered a lot in a short time.
Gabi gave me some “homework,” but I’ll write about that next week because otherwise this post will get too long. I won’t be talking to her this week because there’s no way I’ll get all my homework done since the kids have 3 days off of school and it’s Easter weekend.
I’m excited because since we last talked, I finally figured out how I want the story to end. I have these little itches to write, but I have other questions to consider and some backstory issues to work out first. Plus I need to re-write my early stuff. So I’ll try ignore those itches.
But it’s hard.
Now off to eat more of these.