Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anatomy of a Tale

I've been trying to work on WIP #3, but my recalcitrant WIP #1 keeps calling to me. One of my critique group members suggested I take a break from it for a month and work on something else, saying I might be able to view it differently when I go back to it.

But it won't let me alone!

As I've been stewing over how best to approach a reshaping of my tale, I need to accommodate the various plotlines and the three distinct parts of the story. I'm told I need to move the beginning closer to the triggering event, which is all well and good, but I need to include the stuff at the beginning because that includes a triggering event as well. *sigh* That implies a lot of jumping around.

Now, bear in mind, I tend to be a rather lineral person. My real world has order. I function best with order. Life happens in a linear way, and I cling to the stability of that straight forwardness. In my day job, one of my responsibilties is election official. I'm not talking about being a poll worker, who helps you on election day. I'm talking about the one responsible for the entire party.

The one who can get sued if I screw up.

So it should be easy to see why my mind thinks in terms of order. For example, I dang sure better have published the legal notice--in the specific time required by state law--identifying the time and place for the test of the electronic counting equipment, or one of losing candidates could challenge the entire election. You can't re-create an election. You can hold another one, but it's really a different election. Not everyone who voted in the thrown out effort will necessarily vote again, or be available to vote again (might have moved, died, be in a coma), or others may vote who didn't the first time, or some voters may have forgotten who they voted for (believe me, it happens) or changed their minds.

So I think it's understandable why I have this orderly mindset. Maybe that's why I so thoroughly enjoy works (like Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings) where the author cleverly blends flashbacks into the current, ongoing tale.

I think I may have found an approach to work around my disability in regards to WIP #1 thanks to Robin Weeks comments in yesterdays post, Brodi Ashton's revision post here, and Ian Bontems' planning post here. I think I know how to approach this now.

Thanks, guys!

ETA: I've been able to have a nice 'chat' with my good friend Donna Hosie about this issue, and she provided great input on it, helping finalize my decision and my approach. You rock, Donna!

1 comment:

  1. I write in the linear. I start at the beginning and I stop at the end and, with the exclusion of a smattering of very few flashbacks, my books follow time as we know it in the here and now.

    It just makes sense to me and to this series of books. I plan out ahead, but I don't write ahead.


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