As we’re working on writing chapters 5 and 6 yesterday and today, I wanted to share a couple of tips with you.
#1. Usually around this spot in my manuscript I discover I don’t really like what I’m doing. It helps to remember that this is a first draft. If I can just get the first draft written from the beginning to the end, I can go back in and fix things later. It’s okay to have lousy spots now.
#2. I like to start my writing sessions each day usually by reading over what I wrote the day before or even earlier. I like to go back and fix glaring spots that bug me. For example, originally I had 2 adult characters named Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. I totally deleted Mr. Smith and combined his lines and character with Mr. Jones. I felt this was simpler for a kid’s book at this reading level. Then I also changed Mr. Jones’ name to “Construction Boss” similar to how “Measuring Man” is named in our mentor text, THE RED FLYER ROLLER COASTER.
#3. I’m keeping a short character log with notes about each different character such as “Construction Boss” speaks in short sentences and barks out commands because he’s used to giving orders to his crew. Then I go back over what I’ve written and fix Construction Boss’s lines to make sure they are as short as possible and in a command tone as much as possible. This is helping my characters to each have a distinct voice.
Also, in these two chapters (5 and 6) we want to make sure our characters are heading toward the end of the book and they are directly influenced or dealing with the change that happened at the turning point to get them moving toward the conclusion of the main story problem.