Someone said about "Game of Thrones" that George R.R. Martin's plots consist of advancement by addition. He doesn't really resolve things so much as add a new wrinkle. (One of the reasons the latter seasons of the show are so startling. Things happen.)
Anyway, for the first third of "Takeover" I was doing something similar. I was going into multiple character's heads, first person, giving each of them a little slice of the story. No real plot, just development of the situation and characters.
At that point, I realized I could keep doing that, but it would be difficult to resolve anything. Similar to real life, which is more a jumbled mess of conflicting viewpoints and events.
Or I could transition into a good old-fashioned plot. Trying to keep it real, but fictionalizing events for maximum dramatic effect.
I sent my writer friend, Dave, one of these later chapters and he instantly noticed the change in tone.
I don't think he liked it.
It did remind me to keep up the 'witness statements.' Wrote three right away and they were refreshing and real. So yeah, for every standard Jon narrative chapter, I think I need two or three of the WS's.
But I'm damned if I can see how to have a plot with that method alone. As evocative as the WS's are, they are sideways or additions or character development, but not advancement in plot.
I'm now 27K words into the story, and it's good enough that I'm worried about blowing it. I have to remind myself that no one really cares that much if I write another book. It's my thing and I need to do it the way I think it needs to be done.
So I'm just writing it one day at a time. I have the book plotted, pretty much, at least to the final third. I'd thought the "murder" was going to happen around 25K words, but it will be closer to 30K words. I thought the murder would be resolved by 30K words, but it will be more like 40K words. That's all to the good.
This book can be as long as I want it to be. Adding witness statements is a pretty flexible device. I seem to be really good at these short little inserts.
I did the same thing with Tuskers IV, putting in a little insert with each chapter, sort of like "Dune." Easy to write, usually very nice stylistically, a great way to include flavor and info outside the narrative.
In this book, it's a great way to develop character.
But like I said, the subtlety of doing an entire plot that way is beyond me, I think.
3 days ago