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revised plot alert August 20, 2006

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

it took about a week of worrying. i printed out my chapter structure, and stared at it for awhile. every time i looked at it, my stomach turned. it was too long. it was boring. i wasn’t sure if i wanted to write about these people. i couldn’t see a way of cutting it down, and i knew i had way too much complexity for my talents. what to do?

turns out i got my mom in town for a week, and couldn’t get near the computer without risking exposure to o’reilly and fox news. so the plot sat there in the back of my mind, and i was too busy being with my mom to think about my story.

so when she left i sat down, took one look at the chapter structure i’d printed out, turned the paper over, and started over with pencil on a blank sheet

first i spread out the construction timeline. it’s a big regularizing factor in otherwise semi-randomly spaced developments.

then i put down the main characters’ events beneath them, ignoring the construction timeline. i went from beginning to end of the events instead.

i had thougt i would try to resolve the two scales later. but now i’m not so sure i have to do that. the construction takes a year. the events unfold in some unknown timespan, and if i juggle it right, i can make them roughly correspond all the way along.

problem is, most of these chapters cover a day, or part of a day, at most a week. i’ve got a year to kill. and twelve chapters to do it in. well, maybe thirteen.

my dillema is that i have a constant ticking background rhythm, and a very synchopated 3-part tune weaving in and out.

to balance the two, i think it is necessary to put the construction process, and representing this, the saga of forman, in its own section of the orchestra. the things that go wrong on a construction site will have a steady, monotonous ring to it, a tenor line, if you will. and round this will shriek and howl and bellow the sopranos, altos and basses.
anyway, i started out with 28 chapters, and now i have 12. yay. cut in half. of course, there’s a lot of stuff to cram into each chapter, so we’ll see if it’s any shorter.

maybe i don’t know how to make it shorter. a bunch of things to tell take their time getting told, and a chapter is that long because it takes that long to tell it.



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