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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dealing With Structure

This morning, I dove into examining the structure of "Seer, Tyro, Fiend" by making a sort of outline. I made a chapter by chapter list of the main events or plot points to see where crucial turning points occurred, places where something changes forever. These should occur at chapter breaks, usually bridging the end of one and the start of another, the better to keep the reader reading. I still struggle with this and my insistently nagging inclination to make the chapters of somewhat uniform size. I know it should not matter, but I'm a bit anal retentive and like things even and neat. In this case, I'm trying to break out of my usual mold. Once I got through the list, I started hacking at the manuscript again to adjust these hooks without paying (too much) attention to chapter size.

There will be many passes of editing, reading, revising, and polishing before "Seer" is truly ready for public consumption. Another tricky pass (or two) will involve verifying that I've played fair and provided the reader enough clues to attempt to figure it all out. While I like a surprise ending as much as anyone, I'd still rather go for that "duh-oh" sort of surprise, as in "Why didn't I see that coming?"

On that note, the third Jack Watson book is really starting to take shape in my head. I added more notes to the file this morning after imagining a scene which will (a) be the first from one character's point of view, (b) set that character's position on a major topic, and (c) introduce someone who could be a suspect. The dialog I dreamed up both satisfies and intrigues me. Some thoughts about the Big Scene have begun to tease my imagination as well, and I've poked around for ideas for a title although it's early in the process for me to be doing that.

I'd better be careful or I'll get so interested in the new book that I'll wind up rushing through "Seer" and not giving it the attention it deserves.

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