The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

At some point before I left for VT, I split chapters 11 and 12 into about four or five or six separate pieces, because when it was all packed together into the ms proper, I felt like I was drowning in this part of the story and couldn't see it properly. I pulled it so far apart it ended up in separate files, because that's what it takes for me to be able to wrap my mind around it.

I took all however-many-there-are of these files to VT, but had no time to work on or even look at them.

So today I pulled up one of the files and started in on a new scene for it. I got a full crude draft of the scene written; it's basically my guy up in a tree not doing anything. However, he almost does something, then decides not to, and that's the point the scene makes. I ended it on a tremendous hook of forthcoming doom...and then realized I've got to somehow pick up from there in the next scene, which unfortunately has nothing whatsoever to do with forthcoming doom.

It occurs to me that this is going to be a continuing problem; each time I try to raise stakes plot-wise to keep up tension and pacing, I'm going to have to figure out what to do with that upping of tension as the next scene begins. It can't just disappear, can it? You can't leave somebody hanging on the edge of a cliff, then in the next scene show him doing laundry or eating supper as if the cliff-edge never happened. Can you?

Hmm. It's mental cliffs I'm having trouble with, not physical ones. I can get people to let go of physical cliffs and walk away. But I keep pushing my character to the mental/emotional edge (ex. "Hooray, I'm free to go kill everybody now!" or "OMG, I have just unleashed our doom!")...and that's where I don't know how to pick up and move on with the story. ("After unleashing our doom, I went to do a couple loads of laundry.")

I've never really noticed how other writers handle this. I need to take a look at some books--and/or remember some movies--that do handle it. Could be the answer's partly in the transition following the hook. Could be that the next section needs to start with narration and not in scene. Or vice versa? Wow, I have no clue. I'm not even sure if I should be thinking about it right now. Maybe I should just continue writing up these sections and not worry about how to pull them together for the reader yet.

Wait, just thought of something. Maybe one solution is to slant the hook. Like, instead of ending on "I have just unleashed our doom!" end on "I have just unleashed our doom, but Character X must never know!"

Something to keep in mind, anyway.