A piece of my plot is… missing. It’s a conundrum.
It’s difficult to explain that without spoiling the entire plot of The Monster in My Garden Shed. I could try, but I think it’s better if I just work on figuring it out, and when I’ve got it fixed, people will know because I’ll finish the story. My brain processes better when I’m trying to sleep, so perhaps tonight, after having a long discussion about it, I will know what the deep dark secret is.
In the meantime, I distracted myself by writing more flashbacks–I could probably fill a whole novel with the relationship between two of the characters before the story starts, and I admit, it’s tempting to go to that story… only I think it would really only interest… me. I can’t say that the earlier scenes I’ve written haven’t been enjoyed by at least one other person, but that’s a few scattered scenes, not a complete story of nothing but them.
Personally, I love the dynamics between characters, their interactions and especially their banter. Even if that was all a story was, I might just be okay with that. It doesn’t work for everyone, and even for me, as a writer, that pesky thing known as a plot comes in and intervenes. I do pretty well with plot. It’s not my enemy. It’s not necessarily my friend, though, either.
I think it’s safe to say we’re occasional allies, but mostly, it likes to ruin things for me.
The trick is in balancing plot with interaction and even introspection and dare I name my weakness? Description.
I think I have a fairly good system at this point. I write my banter and interaction, then I reread, I find the lack of description and introspection, and I add that in. It’s still unbalanced, but I do believe I’m getting better at it. I will probably never be one of those authors that paints an entire world with my words, but I know one thing for sure: you can hear the words my characters speak exactly as they say them. It’s something I’ve heard before, though for me, I do hear them as I write.
The voices are clear.
The plot? Maybe not so much. This could be why summaries give me such fits to write.
There is a certain bitter sweetness to flashbacks and stories before the story. A prequel always has to end, and that ending is fixed and even known before the whole thing starts. That said, why would I go through the path and take it to the painful end that I know is coming?
I’m not sure. I faced this problem before with a story I set aside, and my only solution there was not to do it. This one is, of course, different, so I can’t say that I’d walk away from it entirely, and key points of the past have to be known to me, at the very least.
That reminds me. There is one moment I don’t think I’ve touched on for Garden Shed that I have to make sure I don’t forget about. I think I know where I’ll put it, though. I’m trying to keep these flashbacks relevant, and I know that this one would lead right into…
Oh, I can’t tell you that. I’d spoil the story.
After I’ve finished it, I might tell you what I mean by all these vague hints.