Saturday, February 03, 2007

Giving It Away Too Soon

I'm writing. And plotting. And agonising. I stopped writing for five days because I had come to a crucial point in the story - do I give the reader and main character this information now? Or hold it back for a bit longer?
I gave it. And came to a grinding halt.
Why? Because a large part of the mystery had been tied into what was in the box. Once I revealed this, that story question was resolved - there was nowhere else to go with it. Do I have any new story questions? Well ... yes ... but none that are big and exciting and tension-filled enough to keep the stakes growing higher and higher as I work towards the conclusion. Can I go back and take that information out? No. It does feel as though it needed to come out at that point.
In the meantime my main character is dithering, thinking through her next decisions (which has taken up about 500 words and will have to be cut later, but for now, it keeps the words and ideas simmering). I'll have to get out my plot diagrams and do some doodling and "what iffing" and some detailed notes. Then the next part will emerge, I hope.
At the moment, I'm reading an old Nancy Kress novel involving genocide via deliberately infected mosquitos. It's not very riveting, but my next visit to the library is a few days away so I'm digging into old boxes of books that I've never got around to reading.
I'm beginning to think my sister's clothing credo (if you haven't worn it for more than a year, throw it out!) might also apply to books. If you haven't read it and it's been sitting there for more than two years (books last better than clothes, usually, unless you drop them in the bath), give it away.
My goal of cleaning out my office (thank you, Randy Ingermanson and Alison Bottke for showing me how to do this so it's not quite as painful) proceeds at a slow pace. I am doing it properly, and using files and archive boxes as well as the rubbish bin. Today I found my old passport, so of course everyone got to have a good laugh at the photo. Mostly, I am astounded at how much I have kept "just in case".
I thought that maybe when it's all done, and my ten-year-old computer that is no longer used has been sent to computer heaven, I might buy a new one. Then Windows Vista came out, and I don't want it. I can just imagine the arguement with the computer guy, trying to persuade him to load on XP instead.
OK, enough procrastinating here on the blog - back to the writing and plotting.

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