Choosing the Adventure

It’s a nice rainy day, which often means more productivity, unless I give in to the urge to nap or read. I do sometimes consider that a perfect reading day gets turned into a holiday, but I have too much writing to do to get away with that right now. I also have a lot of business-related work that needs to be done. But maybe if I’m very good and productive, I can stop early this afternoon and spend some time enjoying the good reading weather.

In the book I’m revising, I’ve hit a point where the smaller changes made earlier in the book have resulted in major changes to the plot, so I’m not really revising anymore. I’m writing totally new material, which means figuring out what happens next and how it’s going to happen. That slows things down a bit. I have to separate myself from what did happen and think of what these characters really would do in these new circumstances.

This process starts to feel like one of those “choose your own adventure” books. I’ll think of what could happen next and realize that there are a couple of different paths I could take. I get out a piece of notebook paper and list what could happen with each option, and I choose the version that either makes more sense or that results in a better story (preferably both). If the better story isn’t necessarily the one that makes more sense, I have to come up with a way to make it make sense, and that may require going back to an earlier scene to set it up.

For instance, I figured out that I could justify the more exciting option if the characters knew the bad guys were close to finding them, and I came up with a way for that to happen, but for that to work, the characters have to be able to recognize a person that they hadn’t previously met, so I had to go back a few scenes to set up how they would recognize him.

This is going to require a lot of tea. And chocolate.

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