Fans, friends, and anyone else can use the following address to send me email:

Whether it's a comment you don't wish to post in front of everyone or a request for information, I will monitor this address and try to follow up to those indicating they wish a reply. (Please, no spam. I just want to make it easy to communicate.)

IMPORTANT - email addresses are ONLY used to respond to messages, and are NOT sold or used for any other purpose.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Plotting, Plotting

Yesterday, I found myself at work with little to do and no computer to work on "Seer Tyro Fiend." I had gotten kind of stuck at the next scene because it must reveal some clues about what is happening. But before I could decide what those were, I myself had to figure out what is happening. I started jotting notes about the antagonists' back story, what their plot is, etc., and things really started to unfold. I realized I needed another player, and now I have my Fiend from the title. I need to drop some hints about him earlier in the story, however. I don't feel it's fair to the reader to just plop him in at the last minute when it's convenient. I will allude to him in a couple of ways, but not so that Stefanie or Paul will realize he's another player. Since he is the Fiend, he can remain nameless for a bit even as his presence is felt. I also hope to keep the reader guessing for a while, perhaps thinking that the fiend is one of several other characters.

Some other layers of the story developed as well. I decided on a sort of twist with one of the antagonists which will allow me to keep a scene I had written earlier and feared I would have to delete. While that scene did reflect some of Stefanie's feelings about things and included some subtle hints of the plot, it sort of screamed for later cutting. With the additional twist and some change-up in the dialog of the scene, it will now be an important advancement of the story, laying the groundwork for future events.

I have read quite a bit about editing a novel, and I agree that everything in it should move the story forward in some way or at least give the reader information that will be important. Yet imagination likes to create scenes between the characters who have become real people. Real people have conversations about things unrelated to a plot, and sometimes those interactions are interesting, at least to me. But I have read many books, some by best-selling authors, that contain stuff that is entirely unnecessary, and my fingers itched for a pencil to mark it for deletion. In a couple of cases, there were whole passages that seemed to be included only as a showcase for the author's intense research into a location or some bit of history. Inclusion of such things is often necessary, but I'm talking here about cases where it crosses the boundary into Too Much Information. And no, I'm not going to name names. If I find "warts" in other writers' works and point an accusing finger, I open myself to the same treatment. "Do unto others..." so the rule goes. Let the critics be the ones who get nasty about people's writing, for perhaps they do not really understand that writing fiction is an act of creation, and the writer's ego can be a delicate thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment