Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cliff Jumped!

I wrote it yesterday. I read through it for a basic first proof this morning (I don't always do that, but with this book I need to) and it's bad. It's really bad. But that doesn't matter right now. Only the writing is bad; the logic and sequence and the choreography and the character actions are all fine. Writing I can fix.

So after reading through that I went on to the next bit, which is Di telling her secret, and I wrote up a storm. Which isn't surprising, since I've been writing that scene in my head for a couple of years now. Len started fishing during the conversation, which should have slowed me down because I know nothing about fishing, but all that was "business" to keep the reader anchored in time and place and situation. Alas, the escape from the bushwhackers left them without provisions. They have two canteens, a bag of beef jerky, some guns, and Len's fishing tackle minus any pole, and those creeks in the hill country don't grow a lot of cane for fishing poles. I can sort all that out later.

Sometimes I seem inconsistent to myself. Many and many a time a story has come to a grinding halt over details far more trivial than the fishing, and I can't proceed until I've winkled out exactly how such-and-such a thing is done, or would look, or would be achieved. Other times, however, I blast through like this. That's not a function of the details themselves, but of the context in which they're used. When I grind to a halt fretting about details in, say, a chase scene that has to end in a jump off a cliff, odds are good that the detail is not the thing that's stopping me. The detail is the thing I give my conscious mind to play with while my backbrain is working out the important stuff.

My conscious and subconscious were on the same page with Di's secret, as they'd been thinking about it every time she acted or spoke throughout the book. She's revealing the key to all her actions, here. If I didn't know that stuff, I wouldn't have gotten this far.

This'll be drafted by the end of the year, for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment