Monday, January 07, 2008

Another Day, Another Layer

Even though I swore I would take some time away from novels and work on short stories, I couldn't shake this one from my brain. I wonder if it's like that for other writers: A story steps forward and won't budge until it's put on paper (in computer actually, but on paper sounds better).

So I'm reading all these calls for submissions for short stories and it's breaking my heart to let them pass, but I simply can't get out of this novel until I finish it. The problem is that I'm in those tricky first five chapters where so much has to gel. The pace needs to be set, the major conflict of the novel has to be introduced or foreshadowed, the characters have to be introduced (or reintroduced since this is the third of a trilogy), the major players have to make an entrance, etc. It's like pulling back the first ball of a Newton's Cradle and--.

Except that it would be great if this little detail got tweaked a bit.

Okay. So now I pull back two balls and--.

Wait! There's a film festival in Palm Springs, and the MC has friends there, and this can make that work even better. All hail the god of serendipity!

Where was I? Pulling back three balls...

At this rate I may never get out of those first five chapters. Oh, I will- eventually. Getting things lined up perfectly and setting them into motion takes time, but once the action starts it's smooth clickity-clack (of balls or computer keys) from there on. Hopefully.

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