Monday, November 16, 2015

Wing it or outline it?

I have figured out where I want the November book to go.

The only question is do I want to try to write that down or just wing it? I've spun out the plot for Linda and in the telling a few more details were invented.

Once invented, they become part of the story.

The real trick from here it to get the timing right. There is the right time and the wrong time to introduce a plot element. It can be done clumsily or elegantly.

By being loose, I have the potential for either extreme, whereas nailing it down now would at least find a workable way, at the risk of possibly eliminating the most elegant possibility.

And there is the possibility that I might forget something if I don't write it down. I pretty much trust my subconscious to remind me, but it's a dangerous game. As long as I finish it this month, which I intend, I should be all right.

I've been very easy-going with this book, so I think I probably should continue that.

Meanwhile, over at the Virginia Reed book, I'm having to change a few plot elements. The book is about ghosts, and I was trying to be coy with that, and then -- I just plunked them down in the forth chapter, no hiding who and what they are. There is no real way to hide it, that I can see.

So I go with the Alfred Hitchcock bromide that it isn't something surprising that scares people, but something inevitable that they know is coming.

Besides (don't tell anyone) my stories aren't really about "scary" as much as they are about telling a good story in a scary realm.  I'm eliminating a couple of characters as extra and confusing, but what all these changes mean is a thorough re-write. But then, this book requires some research. (I do research after I've set down the basic first draft plot, backward as that may seem.)

I seem to have books that are projects, and books that just come out whole. It would be great if all the books came out whole, but some subjects just require more effort. I'm not saying one type of book is better than the other. In fact, the project books my have more heft, but the first draft books have more oomph.  I don't know.

Project books are intimidating -- because I'm lazy. Because looking shit up isn't the same thing as creating it. There is great fun in integrating the two, but meanwhile it's work.

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