Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I need 17,000 more words!

Okay, I am looking in to querying some publishers who do JAFF. The minimum requirement is 90,000 words. I'm at 73,000 right now with my full 14 chapters. That is roughly two more chapters that I need to write! There is no way I can contrive to keep D&E apart much longer, and I don't want to.

Since my background is script writing, I am not used to this much leeway. For feature length scripts I usually have only 120 pages that are not even full WORD pages--all the dialog has set margins only a few inches across, and is centered with the character's names above them each time they speak. Seriously, I would say that it would be about 60-80 full WORD doc pages--that's it. So, I've learned how to be very brief, but to make my words tight and powerful--full of meaning and subtext while propelling the story forward. Needless to say, I'm a little lost with all of this white space.

What I need is ideas for more "stuff" in between the beginning and Lizzy's trip to Pemberley. But it has to be relevant to the story and it has to propel it forward, it cannot simply be a distraction. There has to be information in it for us or the characters.

Here are some things off the top of my head, but I really would like to hear from my ladies. Tell me what you would like to have fleshed out even more.

* Jane and Bingley's relationship--maybe his disappearance in Bath

* More Wickham interaction previous to the encounter

* Should I spend more time in London with the Gardiners--the 1st time

* Should I have a Caroline subplot/story?

* Should I follow Darcy on his "business" trip while Lizzy is at Pemberley?

Ooh, I think I probably could do an entire chapter on the Darcy thing. Because he is up to something, but I don't reveal it until later. Maybe we can know, but Lizzy will be in the dark. Hmmmm.

Give up your ideas my dears--please! :0)


  1. perhaps a confrontion with Lady Catherine after her outragous behavior at Rosings, or Lizzy reading the letter sooner or at all? Maybe Bingleys confrontation and saving of Lydia? maybe more of Jane and Bingleys wedding and the frustration Darcy felt being shut out by Lizzy?

  2. I think a Darcy & Bingley subplot would be nice. It would tie in with his disappearance from bath (if my suspicions are right) and you could also go into what happened with Lydia and have Bingley supporting Darcy and both discussing and confiding and determining on the correct action. Not only would it characterize Bingley more, but it would develop the reader's feelings for Darcy. It would help readers identify with him to get in his head a bit. More of Darcy's frustration on Lizzy's silence - maybe his impatient curiosity as to whether she's read his letter and what she thinks - would be nice.

    From your list, I think you should go into the Bath/Jane, perhaps also revealing what his sisters thought of that escapade. The time in london was rushed and very succinct. I think going into detail there would also be profitable.

    However, I would caution against drawing out the Wickham encounter. Stretching out climatic scenes like that too often results in a forced feeling and a sharp decrease in suspense. You want to end the scene before people have a chance to calm down.

  3. I like the idea of figuring out all the mystery behind what Bingley was up to.
    I also want to know what the letter says but am sure you have a good reason for holding it back... some clever twist, I am sure. Would love there to be a few more interesting tidbits that give us insight into what Darcy is thinking. Why he is drawn to her. What intrigues him about her? In the same way Elizabeth admires him, can we have more of what makes Elizabeth so alluring to Darcy? I love seeing the depth and strength of Elizabeth so far... and want more! I am a greedy girl. Hehehe (evil snicker)

  4. Expanding on Bingley is good, as is a confrontation of Lady Catherine for her meddling - though that needs to come later, I think. I advise against Miss Bingley. Personally, while JAFF writers like to make her into a villian, or a stooge, I don't see her like that. She might have been jealous, but she's not a total idiot. She's educated enough to know when the game is up and to cut her losses. I think you could also expand Elizabeth's time spent with Georgiana. Field trip! How about a visit to "The Devil's Arse?" http://www.peakcavern.co.uk/ That would be a lot of fun.

  5. No more Wickham, if you please! What I would like to know is why Bingley was in Bath and why is he so secretive about it? Adding to earlier E&D scenes is always nice. And, of course, any time you're writing about Darcy, you're making your readers happy.

  6. I think more Bingley in general is an excellent notion.

    I feel like perhaps we haven't really gotten to know him in the course of this story the way we might have. An excuse to stay in Meryton fell rather conveniently in his lap at the beginning of the story, so we never had to witness him wrestle with his self-doubt and find his confidence, outside from a scene between him and Darcy where the primary focus was Darcy's concern for Elizabeth.

    I suppose what I would really love to see is Bingley take the lead in dealing with Wickham, starting from the time of Elizabeth's assault. I suspect he's been a bit of Darcy's agent in this matter, but the fact is, at this point, Bingley has an actual family connection (or nearly so) while Darcy does not. This matter has become his responsibility.

    However, dark-alley beatings and subterfuge, satisfying though they may be for the reader, don't seem much like Bingley's way of dealing with things--nor Darcy's, for that matter--so we need to understand just how that situation evolved and why. Or if that beating was at the behest of either of them to begin with, since it's certainly possible Wickham has become acquainted with other shady characters?

    So...did Bingley--or Darcy--arrange Wickham's beatdown? And if so, why? It's not exactly a "gentleman's" solution to the problem. Why not pursue any of the many other options they might have against him; sic his creditors on him, report him to his commanding officer, pull strings and arrange for his transfer to Outer Mongolia, etc? A sad fact of the class stratification that exists there is that Bingley and Darcy have a lot more cards to play than Wickham.