Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thanks for the . . . what was it?

Irritating moment just now. As I romp toward the end of This Private Plot (the novel, not the blog), we hit that point on the graph where the mystification curve crests and begins to slope downward -- solutions are offered, puzzles are explained. What magicians call "the reveal," only they don't have to stick around to tell you how it was done. ("There's still one thing I don't understand, Inspector . . .")

Almost from the beginning, I've had a vivid image of how one reveal is accomplished, a moment when my character Superintendent Mallard (Mallard of the Yard) steps forward from the shadows and says something utterly baffling to those around him, but which quickly -- well, after a tantalizing cutaway -- shows that he has unraveled at least one of the strands of the mystery.

It was so real in my head that I didn't bother to add it to my notes. Mallard makes his cryptic utterance -- yes, that's fine, got all that. And, to conclude the scene, the suspect responds with  . . . what? I know I had an equally good riposte for him, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Bugger. (Sorry, Mum.)

I'll take the dog for a walk. The exercise combined with the opportunity to think often produces results. If that fails, I'll take a shower -- the ozone and the head massage are also good for ideas. (Actually, I'll take the shower anyway. It's Tuesday, after all.) If I still can't remember, I'll take the dog for a walk in the shower and see if that does the trick.

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