Saturday, June 16, 2007

Totally about writing process, can you believe it?

So after a week, I am halfway through my first round of converting hard copy edits to computer file. I'm struggling through a brambly bit at the moment, which has had me stuck for a few days.

I'm trying to insert more hints about a character's suspicious behavior early one without overdoing it. It was one of those issues where, I knew he'd pop up from time, not too terribly often, and my protagonist doesn't like him, just as a clash of personalities. But the further I got into fixing the story in my mind and discovering just where it was all going, his motives became murkier, tied up in centuries of tradition mingling with politics and clouding emotion. And because he doesn't like the protagonist. So two-thirds of the way through the book and I realize his behavior is more suspicious than just being a jerk. And now I'm editing the early chapters to reflect that, bit by bit.

Once again, it's that matter of balance. She thinks he's just being an ass at first, but the next tme she sees him, something strikes her as a little wonky. The next time, suspicious.

Chapter 7, where I am right now, is where this character first comes in. I think the reason I've been stuck is just because this scene will set up the future scenes with this character, particular those where he's interacting with the protagonist, and I want to get it right. That means allowing myself to take my time with it. I feel like I know where I'm going, though, so maybe the rest of this will move more smoothly.

We'll just have to write and see.

(And I don't even like puns. Oi.)


writtenwyrdd said...

You might want to consider, for this one item by itself, to increase the tension bit by bit, then relieve it with a red herring (like evidence she might have misjudged the guy) and then doing it again. Maybe when she's really unsure of her decision, he proves himself rotten. Or, you could go the other way and have her see evidence to the contrary and be a pit bull and grab her theory and stick to it...and be wrong because he's not a rotten guy. Or, he turns out to be rotten but not about the thing she's focused on!


Anyhow, hope the idea helps. I particularly love it when I can spot the red herrings and feel smarter than the character.

Sabrina said...

It does. Thank you. I think I might try to play with the red herring in terms of thinking she misjudged him and then finding out he is a bad guy, but I like that added twist of him being a bad guy about something she didn't expect.

I've been irritable today, but this sort of thing always puts me in a good mood, so thanks for that as well. ~wanders off, pondering red herrings~