Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trembling On The Brink

In all of the stories I've written so far, I've reached a point where I feel as though all of the setup, all of the tension-building, and all of the background work is done. From here, it's just one long unstoppable downhill ride on the roller-coaster hill. Granted, there may be a twist or two before we actually hit the bottom, but from here, the story should be a quick, thrill-packed ride.

(Or so I hope. It hasn't always worked out quite that way. When I reached that point in last year's NaNoWriMo story, it turned out that I was still four months and more than 150K words away from where the story said it wanted to end. I'm seriously hoping that doesn't happen again this year.)

I think I'm a hair's-breadth away from that point in my current WIP, The Daughters of August Winterbourne. There have been three abductions and a second murder, although Celia and her sisters thus far only suspect one of the abductions. I've put in all the clues and hints that are needed (I think) for the revelations that are about to happen. All of the background is finished; all of the little character beats I wanted to establish have been established. I'm well aware that, in fact, the story so far is overwritten, but I'm trying hard to keep things moving in spite of it.

Now comes the tricky bit: Making it dramatic without crossing the line into melodrama, keeping the action rolling without wandering down too many side roads, and remembering that this part of the story is supposed to be fun (at least for the readers, if not for the characters, who aren't going to enjoy it at all). Got to remember to keep the angst at bay. If people want that, they have plenty of television-viewing options available to them.

{puts foot firmly on neck of Inner Editor} And you, troublesome thing, can just sit there and shut up. Yes, I know we can -- and will -- need to edit for pacing later. Key word in that phrase is l-a-t-e-r. As in, some time other than now. Got it?

So how are other people's projects progressing?


Andrea said...

I'm glad things are going so well! Yes, keep a foot on that inner editor.