Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Linda freaked me out a little last night.

"I'm not a fan of the wilderness stuff. Maybe the "lone survivor in the wilderness" is a guy thing. I like it more when the characters are interacting."

Here I've been trying to think of ways to extend the wilderness stuff because I felt it was the core of the book.

Have I  made a strategic mistake?

See, I trust Linda's opinion. I think she's almost always right. She tried backing away from it a little this morning, "No, I was just a little confused about what's going on." (That's been a problem too--the locations and times and logistics are always a problem with my books.)

"Honey, you don't do me any favors by backing away now. I need to know what you really think. Otherwise I can't make the necessary changes."

I immediately thought of one solution, which is for Hart to have a companion in the chase scenes. Maybe even a love interest. But I have 30K words written with Hart alone. Can I tack on another character to already written scenes?

Thing is, I think I can. I've done it before. And it seems more and more viable the more I think about it. It's a complication, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It ups the tension. It's not just Hart in danger--he has to think of someone else.  I'll have to be clever, but being clever is what it's all about.

One thing is for sure--it would make the book bigger, and I've been a little concerned about having enough material. So, yeah. I think it's a real possibility. It would also make the book more active--instead of interior dialogue, it would be conversation between two people, which is always more interesting.

But I won't attempt it until I'm finished. Let's see how it plays out first. (Though it will probably be in the back of my mind from now on...)

I'll write the entire book, then create a separate file and play with the addition of a new character. 

Weird though, how much I like the idea--which I never would have thought of on my own.  It will add a week or two to the rewrite, but if makes the book better, then so be it. I always like something new and meaty to add to a second draft, and this would do that.

So...yeah, I'm very enthused right now. But I probably need to finish the book and sleep on it before I do anything.


Dave Cline said...

Or, Hart is schizophrenic, or was, and this trauma has re-ignited his old self -- and now he talks to himself (Gollum / Smeagol style).

"I should just give up and had over the box to Samuels."

"See what I mean, you're such a loser! Can't even last one day in the rain without your precious supplies."

"Oh yeah, well how well are you doing in this shit huh? You like all the ticks and hunger?"

"Bah, doesn't bother me at all. But you do what you want, I'll just stand back and watch your head get blown in after you give up your one and only source of leverage."


Or, there's something "wrong" with the area, the land the world right now... Something that mixes up the normal mundane wilderness, rocks and trees. Maybe there' a new strain of the Bubonic Plague (often still found in your area) is killing people and now he has to survive that too. Or there was a sighting of some mystical sort over Strawberry mountain and hundreds of people invade the area.


Or, he brings his hunting dog, Chief. A bird dog that knows how to be sneaky, quiet, and helps out. AND when it dies near the end, that will yank out the tears...

Duncan McGeary said...

Interesting suggestions. Linda suggested a dog too.

He doesn't have to be schizophrenic to talk to himself. In a way, he could do that anyway.

Can't have any supernatural stuff going on. It's supposed to be a straight thriller.

But in contemplating adding a girlfriend, I've had to come up with some solutions. Why doesn't he just escape? Even more importantly, why doesn't the girlfriend escape or turn herself in?

They find a police radio (maybe on the seat of the Jeep along with the scope)and they listen in. They are considered armed and dangerous,mass murderers. Bonnie and Clyde. They overhear something private between Samuels and the sheriff about how they can't let any of the witnesses survive. (shoot first and ask questions later). The manhunt is much larger, with dogs and helicopters and police from throughout the area, so he can't go in any direction but over Strawberry Mountain further into the wilderness. He can't give himself up, nor can he give up his girlfriend.

Even if I don't include the girlfriend, this really helps with the plausibility of the plot.