A question had been niggling me as questions are wont to–at least when they pertain to my story and therefore are really my job to solve, and solve quick.
How do characters M and B realize that two auspicious artifacts are connected, and why doesn’t M blow off S’s seeming deceit. And for that matter, why did my character S make that odd, throw-away comment. Why did the thought of what he suggested make me tingle with anticipation and a sense of rightness? Was he right–did my protagonists really have to make that odd change of plan, or was he messing with them to buy time, or was there another nefarious plot afoot? Or, as I reminded myself quietly, was that remark of his actually something I could delete.
I do, after all, have the prerogative to have my characters unsay things. But, at the same time, I need to give the story time to show me if the character’s unplanned action in fact has worth to the story, if it makes the plot stronger or just wider and disconnected and never ending. In other words, is that string they tuck in going to unravel my entire fabric if I pull at it, or is it a crucial part to a pattern I myself simply never discerned before?
Odd things, characters. S has changed, too. His role–no. But his appearance and his mannerisms, and even his backstory. Right now I’m trying to unite two visions of his backstory, but the crucial piece–how he’s connected with M–just fell into place over the past two mornings. Today I slipped it in, and finally, VOILA, my question was resolved.
S fits much better into the story now, the awkward random coincidence thing is done and deleted, M’s instinctive understanding makes sense, and B’s impossible knowledge explained. M’s emotions upon first hearing “the news” at the beginning of the second act of the novel no longer seems preternaturally restrained and aloof, and his growing anxiety and haste now make sense.
In other words: All is well in the world.
It’s amazing how a good writing morning brightens up the day, no matter how filled with deadlines and impossibilities it may be. 🙂
When writing a novel, that’s pretty much what life turns into: ‘House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1,500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.
~ Neil Gaiman