Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meaty bits

Nope, that scene didn't work either. It looks like I'm going to have to do the dreaded... *gulp* back-plotting.

Yes, peeps, back-plotting; that slow, laborious task to test the continuity of your book. The scene-by-scene dismemberment of the story line to make sure everything is in its place and the characters haven't suddenly disappeared or changed appearance or personality.

It's the part of writing I least like, a necessary eee-vil. But if the whole thing is to stand up and be counted, the internal structure has to be solid enough to support the flesh of action and dialogue. If not, then all you've got is a body laid out for autopsy: all the bits are where they're supposed to be, but it ain't movin'.

It's what well-adjusted writers do before they start writing. Me, I'm a maelstrom of tangential thought when it comes to writing. I do the plotting after - but only if I'm having trouble; which I am. Buckets of it. Meaty, bloody, gobs of it.

The saving grace is that I'll be able to spot inconsistencies that an atypical read-through misses...

To get this trilogy done, I have to start at the beginning, wallow in what I've written and be schizophrenic about it: one part reader - one part editor; or, if you will, half patient and half doctor.

Maybe I need to look up some technical manuals to diagnose the problem. Ah, well, time to create a database...

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