Wednesday, April 17, 2013
How Do You Write a Book? Helen Update
Step One: Sit down at the computer.
Step Two: Write story.
Step Three: Edit out all the stupid words.
Step Four: Repeat as needed.
With six years in the making, there have been many chapters that ended up on the cutting room floor of the internet. I had a shipwreck, a rape and two plays. They're all gone. There was a dramatic scene I deemed too out of character with the rest of the story, but it was a pretty scene. (Nuts). The gods popped in and out of the story, there was a great conversation with a bored Aphrodite that I was loathe to let go.
But the story has to be the story. It has to hold. Ergo, while you can have coincidence to get into trouble, you can't have it to get out. That component of deliberate manipulation/mechanical grafting is difficult in a fiction piece. It has to flow. It has to seem plausible. It has to pull you further along.
I remember getting lost in the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter, the ground kept shifting underneath. I am trying not to give that same unsteady feeling to the reader. It is not easy. One scene in particular is vexing. I still fret over it. I'm still trying to bend Helen to my will, whereas she has shown herself decidedly unyielding on this point.
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