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Friday, June 13, 2008

I Love It When That Happens

OK, hopping back into the saddle after another six days of family fun...

I assumed it would take me another two days or so to start moving forward, but I guess I did just enough in those few days between my mom's move and this latest digression to fuel some clear thinking. As I might have said before, a little distance gives perspective. First off, I realized that I had left a huge wrong turn in the plot.

PLOTTING RULE: Always consider alternatives to your characters' choices. Is what you plan for them to do next what they would really do next?

Case in point: Portier and Ilario had discovered that a young sorceress had been imprisoned by some nefarious individuals and used for nefarious purposes. The only name she spoke before she died was that of a man missing for almost a year. Her clues hint that he is held by the same captors. And what did my intrepid fellows do?

Went off to an afternoon "salon" to investigate another piece of the puzzle, because that's what I needed them to do: meet some people and discover that their critical deadline (and I mean DEADline) had just been moved up. Very tense. I was focused on the steps in unraveling the puzzle of the royal assassination attempt, rather than this parallel plot layer of the missing conte. DOH!

It was clear the girl had been held in the very palace where my investigators were staying. She had escaped her captors only three days previous. Of COURSE they would do their best to see if the missing man might still be held there! Which took them into the royal crypt and uncovered new artifacts, new evidence, and allowed Portier to get some insights into Ilario and his relationship to his half sister, Queen Eugenie, and get his own first view of this woman who is a crux of the conspiracy. Is she or isn't she trying to kill her husband?

That is, a good, spooky, revelatory action scene inserted itself. I love it when that happens!

3 comments:

tami said...

So, will there be spoilers in this blog?

carolwriter said...

Certainly following the development story will reveal some directions. Bit I am going to do my best NOT to put in any true spoilers. I will always warn you, if I even put in a teaser, and always put it behind the "Read More" label.

Sarah said...

I love it too when it happens.

An Italian writer I meat once said that this happens when the story is coherent. An inner logic is born inside the story itself and we just have to "follow the river", so to say. This is perfectly reasonable, and I think it'is exactly what happens.

On the other hand, this is also what makes writing magical, I think, because the way a story creats itself, just like that, without our effort and nearly in spite of our will, it's one of those things I'll never be able to explain to people who don't write.