Sunday, August 16, 2015

The unfit chapter.

I wrote a chapter in Tuskers II that I really liked. I liked the characters, the action, the point of it. It was well written.

In the end, I took it out and replaced it with a paragraph that paraphrased the action.

I've just reached the same chapter in Tuskers III.  Once again, I've decided to take it out and replaced it with a paraphrased paragraph.

There is a version of the chapter in Tuskers IV, told from a different viewpoint, and it appears I'll have to take it out there, too.

In the Omnivore Wars (subtitle to Tuskers III, heh) I have the Tuskers setting off a massive Tesla-like worldwide Electro-Magnetic-Pulse, frying most of the machines in the world.  (Remember, they're Swinesteins) This is an event that runs through the last three of the books, so everything has to be timed by that.

The consequences of the EMP becomes so important, that all the action revolves around it.  It made the plot so unwieldy, that I decided to have two EMP's. A Small Pulse, used the disrupt an early battle, and a later Big Pulse which does all the real damage.  It's a solution, if not an elegant one.

So I've managed to construct the plot so that everything that takes place after the Big Pulse is without electricity.  Complicates things, obviously.  No phones, no lights, no cars.

So I've reached about 2/3rds of the way through Tuskers III, which is after the Big Pulse, and I have one of the main characters out on a scouting trip.  But in the first draft, I have him requisitioning a car from some people in a diner, and driving home.  Well, that can't happen. This is the "unfit" chapter.

So I decided to switch him to a horse, which I like.  I like the rumination that the world has changed forever and from now on it was going to be horsepower and candles.

I looked at the "unfit" chapter and tried to figure out how to keep it with the main character requisitioning a horse instead of a car, and well, it just didn't work.

Instead, I'm just going to have this take place not far from home, have him hop on the horse, and come riding back home. It works, and nothing is lost, and it is actually slightly more interesting.

The more I rewrite this book, the more I realize that the thematic structure of the story is very strong, the plot was less strong with some continuity problems, and the writing was the least strong, with some clunky passages.

So in this rewrite, I'm improving the writing, bringing it up to standards, ironing out the continuity problems, and hopefully added some depth to the themes.

Strangely, no one ever seems to complain about my writing in reviews (knock wood.) It's usually the themes, or premises, or the plot they critique.

But to me -- it's all writing.  Anything can work as long is the writing is good.

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