Saturday, March 6, 2010

A match made in heaven.

I'm not sure I believe in everyone having a "soulmate," a partner that Fate or God or karma or destiny has intended from birth. I think that particular conviction has led too many people to be passive about finding love, trusting in the UPS of destiny to deliver the perfect Prince(ss) to the doorstep instead of getting out there and slaying the frogs or kissing the dragons, as appropriate.

Of course, when you look at all the strange, puzzling factors that contribute to a lasting romantic relationship, there logically has to be someone in the world who scores more highly for you than anyone else. (Bad luck if you're in Colorado and he's in Addis Ababa.)

Similarly, when you consider the factors that go into story-telling (which is so much more than mere "writing"), there is clearly one way of presenting your tale that's better than any other. What you have to do is find Mr. or Ms Right (Write?) and fall in love. Fortunately, when you're plotting and planning a story, you're not facing 3.5 billion potential partners -- 7 billion if you're not fussy about gender.

Chapter 19 was my "reveal" chapter for the main murder of This Private Plot, and it's just come under the scrutiny of my writers group. Lots of good ideas from them, as always. But I was already dissatisfied with it, convinced there was a better order for the revelations, where one would flow inevitably from the other, where I could make the most of the surprises, where the speculations and assumptions of the detective figures didn't seem to spring out of nowhere, but made sense given what we know of the characters, filling in the synapses between the salient clues. Cut and paste, read and rewrite and read again, and hope for the dizzy, dancing way you feel.

In the process -- a decision made once again while walking the dog (I owe Leila a lot) -- I dumped one whole, major, clunky clue, meaning I had to carefully tease out the thread through all the chapters that it had affected and hope no scenes would unravel completely. (A little darning remains.)

I still don't know if I'd marry Chapter 19, but I'd buy it lunch.

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