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Dance of the Puppets

Like a bat on a hot tin roof since August 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Day twenty six

Okay, I'm now getting that whooshing sound as I fly down the hill at ever increasing speed and I'm wondering if I've got any control of this sled or where it's going and am I going to hit a tree.

I had been intending to let the climax of the story build a little more slowly while I figured out what was going on, but given the amount I'm writing right now each day I realised that if I used the last day to tie up loose ends and finish the epilogue, spent the previous day on the climactic confrontation, that only left today to set up the climax.

So about 500 words in to today's episode everything shifts up a gear and the characters who were sitting around being witty and attempting to puzzle out what was going on now have to go deal with a situation RIGHT NOW.

I'm going to have to smooth that out a bit in the rewrite and build up the tension a bit more, but I don't have time to worry about that now.

This is one of the bits I find most difficult to write, when I know I have to get characters from A to C via B and have D, E and F occur along the way. I find it very mechanical, as opposed to when I can just point my characters in the general direction I want them to go and let them get there in their own sweet time, being witty and clever along the way. My main characters are such fun to write that it's like I'm not writing them at all, just running along behind them and taking notes.

One of the most memorable things I read about creating characters was by Dave Sim, back in the sane days. I forget the exact quote (yes, it was that memorable), though I'm sure someone can remind me, but the basic idea was that he reckoned that the mark of good characterisation was that you could lock your characters together in a closet for an issue and you'd still get an entertaining story. He eventually did something very like this in Cerebus #51 or #52 and proved his point. Now I know if I locked my two main characters in a closet they'd just start making out, but maybe if I tied them up...

Meanwhile, back at the novel I did finally work out who the villain was, and it wasn't who I had been setting up at all. And yet somehow it all makes sense and gives the thing a neat twist.

Word count now 45,675.


Anonymous Andrew Perron said...

Huh. O.o Cool.

"This is one of the bits I find most difficult to write, when I know I have to get characters from A to C via B and have D, E and F occur along the way." Urgh. I know exactly how that is, and it's one of the things that kills me.

2:25 pm  
Anonymous methane said...


2:40 am  

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