W.A.R.S.: Plot Plumbing

The long weekend is done, and the sabbatical drafting effort has begun in earnest. Holidays for me are more about quality time with my chap than with my laptop, but I wasn’t entirely unproductive: I did some valuable plot debugging. Yes, plots sometimes require debugging just like code. I learned to program HTML years ago, before friendly web-design products like WordPress became common, and it taught me that a simple misplaced character can cause the whole product to malfunction. Then you have to go line by line and figure out what’s wrong.

Remember my post the other week about plot outlines, where I complained about being in a narrative slump? Turns out the problem wasn’t where I thought it was. Or even what I thought it was. The scenes I’d planned to write next didn’t seem to fit because some crucial (but poorly placed) exposition in previous chapters was blocking the story stream. I switched some conversations around, overhauled the mechanics of a few scenes, and voila. Successful plot plumbing. It’s like unclogging a stopped drain: inglorious but necessary, and satisfying when everything resumes flowing as it should.

All right, that’s enough analogies for one post. On to the progress report. Today I finished chapter ten, then realized the previous chapter had the same number, so the piece I’d completed was actually chapter eleven. Copy-paste error in my favor! I’m looking forward to work on number twelve tomorrow. After thirty pages beating up (rather literally) on Amaya and Logan, I’m turning my attention to Paul. He’s hit rock bottom, poor guy, and I have to pull him out of the pit. So I can throw him down an even deeper one. Hey, I’m his author, not his therapist. It’s not my job to be nice to him. But he is unexpectedly turning into my favorite character. More on that next time!

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