The other day, I was talking about how tricky beginnings are, but what I’ve been struggling with this week is transitions, the parts that come after the big turning points. Particularly, what comes after the first major turning point. The heroine has achieved her initial goal, and the scene after that is the hard part because it has to establish her new situation plus set up what’s going to happen next. She may have achieved what she wanted, but now she’s starting to realize what she’s gotten herself into.
I think I’m on my third version of this scene, and I can’t just leave it and go on, with plans to come back and fix it later. The things established in this scene will play a big role in how the rest of the book works, so it needs to be right. Maybe not the exact words, but the events and the information that’s conveyed.
One problem I had was figuring out the characters. It’s a school-like situation, and my initial number of people involved was really too big to get a handle on, so I cut back. Then I had to develop all the characters who would appear, which also meant figuring out where they stood. Would they be enemies or allies? Who was going to do what as the story moved forward?
But then that made me figure out something new about the plot once I knew where everyone stood. There’s been a lot of going back and forth.
And still I don’t know that I’m quite ready to write it yet. Yesterday, I reached that scene and couldn’t seem to make myself do it. I told myself that I either had to write or clean.
So now my entryway coat closet has been purged, cleaned, and organized. It’s a thing of beauty. I keep opening it to admire it. It had become sort of the “junk drawer” of the house because there’s so little storage in this house. It’s a combination coat closet and broom closet. And, for some reason, it became the place where the candle supply lives. I have no idea how I ended up with so many candles. I think I’m going to have to start doing more things by candlelight to use them all. I like candles, but it looks like I was given a number as gifts, had a weakness for any kind of sale on candles, and then they might have bred in the darkness of the closet.
But today I will write that scene.