Yeah I know you know the rest of the rhyme. If you don’t Google is your friend.
The picture above is pretty much how it feels right now. I need a timeline for the serial killer and he has to make a mistake. He doesn’t like that. He doesn’t make mistakes. When I try to decide what the mistake is, he pouts. No amount of Redheads tossed to him is going to talk him around either.
I have to figure this out or there are two scenes that will be totally wasted if I don’t and I would rather not abandon them. I may do that in rewrite but right now, I want to keep them in. I just have to figure out how to send my guys off on one wild red herring and a near miss. That’s where it gets tricky.
Writing backward is not as easy as it sounds. It is sort of like coming up to that least jigsaw piece in a 1000 piece puzzle of abstract art and realizing that bugger just doesn’t fit. Trying to get it to fit is like hammering it with a large mallet because by God, you are going to get that damn thing to fit in there.
I know it is said you can do that. However it isn’t going to be smooth and rewrites are going to be needed.
It’s a given the whole thing needs rewrites. What I have already written seems more awkward than helpful. I do have a time line of his movements now. That helps to make events clearer and I can see where things fit into the story better. I’m a plotter not a pantser.
Pantsing may not be a good thing and I think I can understand why. First you spend way too much time figuring out which way they went. Next you spend too much time trying to fix holes. I was reading a blog by a former editor who said he could always tell the ones who just sat down and wrote. “It looks it” and I don’t think that was a compliment. His next line was “They can be fixed but not without a lot of work”
Pantsing is fine if you can carry off plotting by the seat of your pants but I’m betting not many can do that. I will bet, also, that many who are successful who claim they do that have a bare outline in their heads too. They know what their story is about and which way it is going.
If you can’t sum the entire book up in 15 words or less [I’ll give you 20 since I am being nice today] you are screwed. Why? It means you know what you are doing and where you are going. How you get there might be a different story but that is what makes plots.
I was looking at one that the thread clearly said 15 words or less but the person put down 4 paragraphs and still wasn’t done when I stopped reading. 15 words does not mean 15 paragraphs. That child has no clue what her story is about.
I created too much work by not knowing how the killer fits in to the time line events. “Oh I’ll write that in later” works IF you are dealing with minor scenes and already know which way you are going but you can’t ignore a major part like that until you are good and ready to write it. That major part may change the entire story and fitting it in will be a royal pain in the royal glutes.
Lesson learned? Always know where a major key in the story fits in. You can’t ignore it or you might end up with a story minus a vital piece and the killer drives a major part of the plot for me.
And off the subject?
Speaking of nightmares, anyone see what a mess they made of thesaurus.com? Instead of one click, I have to make 5 to every one I use to make and scroll like crazy to find things. Rating? Those who think Canada is a state of the US and Mexico is part of California will love it.
Sigh FIXED. I think. I hope. Phil stares intently at the page wondering if the Editor is going to come after him for this one. I know you can’t wait until you can get your editor’s paws on my book.