Sunday, August 10, 2014

Gut Feelings And Missing People

And here we are, another gripping Sunday installment in which I write a lot of words about a whole lot of nothing.

The book's proceeding apace. Words are appearing at the usual rate, or even slightly faster than usual. Items in my outline are being crossed off. It's like watching magic happen, if magic involved grinding out verbiage and sitting very still for long periods of time in front of a laptop. Okay, it's not a whole lot like magic happening. Or if it is, magic is a pretty boring thing.

I hit one of those landmark moments that all people who write books hit, I think.

The dreaded dangling continuity error.

I'm pretty close to writing the climactic scene at the end of Act II. I just got right up to the moment when Shit's About To Get Real, so I went back to one of the earlier chapters which foreshadowed the event in question, to refresh my memory. And realized there was a character missing that should have been there. Not only that, it was a character that I had to specifically write in--he couldn't just be there. Things had to happen to account for him being there.

This meant I had a few choices how to resolve the dangling plot thread:

1. I could leave a note in my draft to the effect of "PLOT RESOLUTION GOES HERE. FIX THIS IN DRAFT TWO." Problem is, I'd have to do just as much rewriting to account for him being there as I had to do now. And there are outlining issues that I might as well tweak for his presence now as opposed to later since I'm going to have to rejigger crap anyway.

2. I could completely write him out. Go back to the previous chapter and change the paragraph he's in. That sucks because it's a plot thread I'm kind of fond of--his presence complicates things, in a potentially hilarious way. Also, it plays off his initial appearance in the book in useful ways. He reinforces a theme I want to include. So, he stays.

3. I could go back and rewrite several previous chapters to account for his presence. Slow build. Completely logical. Etc. That's...a lot of work. A lot of rereading. Staring at the wall refolding the outline in my head. Typing shit into my laptop. Fingers. Get sore. Thinking. About it.

What I finally wound up doing was just throwing in an extra scene at the beginning of the chapter, lampshading his arrival. Why is he here? Just bring him in, brutally sudden and mysteriously. Let the shit sort itself out over the rest of the novel. I get to do all the jokes and things I want to do with his presence, but at the same time, there's a level of mystery I get to play with while wrapping up the rest of the novel. Cool beans.

I like this approach because it felt right and sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Also, less work.

Totals:  600, 565, 573, 1070, 617, 856, and 508.

No comments:

Post a Comment