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Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Title; New Stuck Place

The third entry in the Tracy Wiley series has a title now: Stranger Faces. Work was progressing quite well, getting very close to the big showdown scene, but I hit a snag. As Tracy was facing a spate of nerves over a coming confrontation, she began asking herself why she was even doing it, and I realized that what she was doing ran contrary to her earlier plan of action. She had planned to stop being secretive, blow the lid off the conspiracy as quickly as possible, and damn the consequences. Then suddenly she was back to handling it all herself at her own risk. When she started asking herself why she was doing it, neither she nor I had an answer. Need to rethink things a bit. She needs a compelling reason to take on the risks.

It's sort of like in a bad horror movie when the monster/zombie/serial killer/vampire/whatever is chasing the young female star through a house and she runs upstairs. Of course, there is a motivation for such a scene, i.e., the screen writer wants to get his antagonist and protagonist together in a high place so the bad guy can go over the edge and go squish. So much drama. Who will go over the edge? Who will make it? Like we ever had any doubt from the moment the opening titles rolled.

I cannot, in good conscience, allow that in my story. For one thing, events unfold so quickly in a movie, the viewer does not have time to consider them very closely, until maybe after it's over. If a reader stops reading, however, he or she has a chance to think about what's gone before. Tracy is a smart woman, very clever, and she must have a solid motivation for her actions. Otherwise, I fear the reader will suddenly say, "Hey, why the hell would she do that?" and decide the story is stupid. Heaven knows I've done the same thing myself with books I have read in the past.

Awfully glad I caught it.

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