I'm stuck on "Lucifer's Forge," just 10% from the finish. Nothing is coming to me and I'm not sure I should be trying to force it. I'm going to set the afternoon aside to try to come up with something, but I feel like I need a stronger trigger.
I think part of the problem is that I don't have the whole story in mind right now, that sense that I understand where all the parts fit. And some of that comes from the knowledge that chapters will need to be moved around to fit the timeline.
This is also the part of the book where it isn't so much about exploring as bringing it all home. It's all well and good to invent scenes forever, but if I want to wrap up the plot, I'm sort of constricted to going to each of the storylines in turn and bringing them to a slam bamm finish. Strangely, knowing what I have to do, having an outline, actually makes it harder.
I have four main story threads, which is more than usual, and each of the threads have a number of characters. I'm assuming, hoping, the reader can keep track.
Basically, each of these threads needs a couple of chapters each, plus a couple of other misc. chapters to come to a satisfying climax.
I guess I'm leaving a lot of the work to rewriting this time, which is usually not a good thing, but I'm hoping this time it will be different. Hoping the research will be fruitful.
Maybe that's the problem.
I think the book as it is currently written is over my head; requiring too many details to get right.
For instance, at writer's group, Gary pointed out that the Santa Ana's blow from the east to the west, which makes nonsense of the chapter I wrote. How many other things like that am I getting wrong? How plausible is any of it?
I'm thinking that though I can't completely eliminate the mucky-mucks, I can try to eliminate the "meetings" which seem to me to be the phony-ous part. I just have to keep chipping away at the unbelievable elements, until I have something that passes the smell test.
If I don't think that is going to happen, I'll just publish it myself with the awareness that nobody will read it. Move on the the next thing.
If I want to make things easier, I probably should move away from real life detail stuff. Thrillers for instance. I'd like to write thrillers, but I've always been uncomfortable with the technical details, and that's what thrillers almost always require.
Maybe I should just write my supernatural tales, which require no research. Maybe I should write things that require nothing but my own imagination.
The historical westerns are a little different in that fewer people are going to challenge me on the details. There is a built in suspension of disbelief among readers of such material. A little research goes a long ways.
On the other hand, if I can pull this book together, it would be a more impressive achievement. It's a more ambitious project, to be sure.
I'll try my best with the research, and hope that the telling details tie it all together.
5 days ago