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Plot crisis alert August 11, 2006

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Blog project, construction news, original fiction, Plotting.

well, i’m lost. i finished chapter three and began to think about chapter four, and it immediately seemed like it was going too slow. i seem to be in a big hurry to get thru to the end of the story, and am somehow dissatisfied that things take so long.
i started looking at the chapter structure, and thought it was much too long. 4 parts. that’s too much, even if it’s a short wrapup kind of 4th part. i want 3 parts. three main characters, triple goddess archetype, 3 acts.
and so many things have to happen to so many people. there are hundreds of necessary character interactions to get everything said and explained.
i don’t seem to be able to write quick reading stories with snappy action scenes. most of splat was not action scenes, tho i did get very excited writing the actions scenes there were.
someone said, a romance writer i believe, that you write from your genitals. but, unlike romance writing, when you’re writing action scenes, your genitals tend to shrivel up and crawl inside your body.
so i have come to the conclusion that i have to jam events much, much tighter, and this requires a major replotting of the story. and this requires charts and diagrams and cutting and pasting and is just a big hairpull fest.
i had to revise splat’s plot when i was nearing the end of the book, and that was a big pain. but this time i’m realizing i need to do major changes at the beginning, which i suppose is better.
at one point i was considering making barney and forman the same person. they both interact with maggie, they’re both rather peripheral until they act to right wrongs in the end. so why confuse the issue and have them as 2 different people? because their personal story lines have to radically change. but what do i have invested in their story lines at this point? emotion.
i sit and stare at the crazy lines and blobs my plotting diagram has turned into, and hear the voices of all my characters clamoring. what do they want to do? do they want to lead a quiet life, do they want a reduction in complexity? hell no, they want to party, to backbite and revenge themselves and see justice done their way. they’re a hard-nosed bunch of people, and they make more protests when i ask them to settle down.
so i’m finding yet another delay, just like what’s happening for real outside on the construction site (they hit water again, and a big storm broke the pipe wide open). but delays are what writing is all about.
except for this acquaintance of mine who found a publisher on his first try (YAY) and now has a contract for a book. the bad news is that the book is 400 pages and due in two months. you do the math. there’s no time for sleeping, yet alone struggling with the plot or the characters. personally, i don’t think i want that degree of respectability in the publishing world.
i found in the corporate world that the more status and respectability you have, the more they want you to work for nothing and say thanks. and fuck that.
so, while i struggle with chapter four and beyond, have a gander at chapter three and tell me if you think it’s already too long.



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