Thursday, August 26, 2004

     Another night of housework and writing, too much of the former and not enough of the latter. A friend has asked what’s giving me so much trouble on my book. I’ve always been able to write my way out of about any story problem (if only life were so easy).
     Here’s the stit on the book. Early on, I made the main foe overwhelming. Our heroes –- such as they are –- are vastly overmatched. In fact, the only reason they've survived is that basically they're beneath their foe’s notice. As long as he doesn’t realize they exist, they’re safe.
     Unfortunately, at this point, he’s aware of them. They’ve fled into an uncharted wilderness to escape his troops. While he wants to capture them, they’re not the main thrust of his goal, so he’s not committing his vast resources to finish them. In fact, he doesn’t know the whole truth about them and he might not care if he did. They're almost not worth the magic it would take to kill them. That “almost” is coming close to killing our heroes.
     So they’re in the wilderness, making their way cross-country to a trade road that will lead them to another country, thus escaping him. That’s where they’re at. Slogging their way through mud and forest and driving rain. That’s also where they’re stuck because I can’t get them across this wilderness in anything resembling an interesting fashion.
     Later on, they run into our chief foe whom they’re trying to avoid (he hid his fortress in the wilderness because he's experimenting with a magic that could place him on the throne of the empire) and much bloodshed, terror and excitement results, including a nifty explosion or two. What fun. Of course, that’s later on. I have that written. I know what happens then. In fact, I have finished the end of the book.
     It’s that bit between the middle and the end. The after-middle, pre-end if there is such a thing. I would just skip the wilderness trip with a few sentences that briefly detail the journey, and then they’re captured.
     BUT and notice it’s a big “but,” the book will be too short if I don’t expand out the wilderness journey. I’m aiming for 90,000 to 100,000 works to meet the average length requirements for novels of this particular genre. I have a little over 70,000.
     You’re probably thinking, “But if that’s all the story requires to be told, aren’t you just padding it?” And yes, you’d be right, except I know there’s more story. Somewhere in that journey is where our broken hero and his tormented lady find healing. Their love deepens with every peril they face. Somewhere in their flight, they finally fit. Our poor, dumb hero doesn’t know it, but he’s finally found what he needs to go on living. Naturally, I’m going to strip it all away from him, but he doesn’t know that yet.
     So there we all are, lost in the forest, trying to find our way. Every day they take a few more steps as I write a few more words. We’re going to make it. We both have a destiny out there waiting for us to arrive, but good grief, it’s slow going.
     On a bright note, my house is getting really clean.

2 comments:

Joel said...

You can do it!

Erudite Redneck said...

Except for the love angle, that situation sounds not unlike the situation in Iraq. Maybe you should watch CNN for a few weeks regularly for inspiration. I'm not sure I'm kidding. :-)