Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weaving plot, emotion and themes

Most of this week I'm juggling story ideas. Got to devise a new A-story to replace one in a trickily twin-time narrative intended for a tie-in novel project. Creating three storylines and two new characters for the Lighthouse workshop. Trying to find time to update my Complete Inspector Morse tome for a new edition to be published next February. And I'm speaking at the East Ayrshire Book Festival at Friday, so need to do some prep for that too.

But mostly I've been tweaking one story of the day proposal, and developing another. The first has now gone onwards for consideration, while the second - not sure I've nailed it. It hinges on an unusual medical diagnosis, and the placement of that is crucial to the story, how it's told. My original instinct was to put that right up front, make it matter of fact and explore the consequences thereafter. But that didn't seem to sit right.

Someone suggested I hold the big reveal back as long as possible, to build up suspense, turn it into a mystery for the audience to keep them hooked. That's the version I submitted yesterday, but having slept on it I'm not sure that's work. Yes, we get the mystery element, but deny the protagonist a chance to talk about the consequences of his diagnosis beyond generalities. Can't help but feel that omits what could be a powerful scene.

Want to have another look at it, see if I can't find a better was to weave together the plot, emotions and central themes. But I need to progress all the other projects on my plate. Argh. Not enough days, not enough hours, not enough time. Onwards!

UPDATE: Having done my thinking out loud in the above entry, a better ending came to me almost immediately. I dove back into the synopsis, streamlined the start, rewrote the final scenes and sent off the new [hopefully improved] version - all by eight o'clock this morning. Blog - it's useful as well as therapeutic.


Lucy said...

I think of it less as weaving, more as moulding.

Word verification: "workput" - strangely appropriate

Laura Anderson said...

Good work. I can't believe how productive you are so early in the morning.