Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Discouraged--basic plot problems

Ugh. Another road block. It seems like about once a week I get about 12-24 hours of feeling like I'm making progress and then run into another problem that feels catastrophic and makes me want to give up.

All these crises have passed before, and I'll have to trust this one will too if I keep at it.

I started reading Ch. 11 last night and this morning and while there is an awful lot of good work that fits within the chapter, there's an awful lot that doesn't fit in with the plot of the rest of the book. And it's not as simple as cutting that stuff out. (I don't think so anyway. It's important to take a few minutes and seriously consider that radical solutions, so I will do that.) It's more a matter of the chapter not having a point that fits with the chapters on either side.

I think what I've exposed is a critical flaw in the plot structure of Part 2. What is happening and how is the character developing? I've worked hard on these questions, I feel, but I'm still left with a series of events that don't tie together. It's like the plot works but the character development does not, so when it comes down to it the plot doesn't really work at heart either. It's a patch job. Character development is the plot, so if you spend a moment too long considering only the events (plot in the most simplistic sense) and not what they mean for the character, the formula gets unbalanced and there's a weakness in the plaster mix that makes itself more and more apparent over time. In this case in Part 2, I can always answer why a character is behaving in a given moment but only if I ignore what happened in the previous episode. How does he so quickly go from resistant to willing, for example? From allied with that character to suspicious of him? The changes are too whipsaw, so the believability of the whole book is starting crack apart at this point.

I'm afraid what all this means is some significant developing and rewriting throughout Part 2. And that's very discouraging to think about.

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