Until now, writing this novel has been a relative breeze.
Relative is the key word. Writing a novel is challenging in many ways, and to name few:
· Making time to spend with your keyboard.
· Crossing your fingers that good health holds out long enough to finish the chapter by deadline to send it to the critique group.
So, it’s been easy in that we haven’t had to work at the plot. We’ve just been writing, having fun, and the plot has developed organically.
Until now. Conundrums are rearing their Kraken heads more frequently—one monster we recently battled was scene order. I handed Larry a chronologically challenged printout of our chapter and asked, “Will you fix this, please?” I’d totally messed it up.
Wearing a puzzled expression, he flipped pages back and forth. He numbered the scenes for me to reorder. He looked at them one more time. “No, wait, this one has to come first.” He scribbled out numbers and renumbered them.
Now I can fix it. Easy meeting. We’re done, now, right?
He reviewed the whole thing and said, “It can’t work this way because this part should actually come at the end of the book, right before the final scene.”
I’m sure my mouth dropped open. “So our characters have twenty-four hours to tie up all the loose ends before the final climax?” Sorry, no can do. None of our characters is Jack Bauer.
We discussed loose ends. We discussed plotting. We discussed method.
He suggested we pick up the pace and write further ahead of what we’re giving the critique group, so we can work these things out under less hairy deadlines. More meetings, more plotting, and more production.