This book is going to be the death of me.
Okay, that’s probably just me whining. But it’s making me think about story in different ways than I have before and making me second guess myself. I think that’s good, but it’s disconcerting.
So this weekend I did something very Bob-like: I set up a table for the major action events, divided by acts, and then analyzed all of them for character arcs and relationship arcs. The tables looked like this:
Mine’s filled out, and I won’t actually be using during the rewrite much, but it did show me the holes in my character and relationship arcs. I did another one for antagonists, that was hugely helpful because none of them have PoVs, so they’re always working behind the scenes. Tying each major conflict event to the minion antagonists and through them back to the real antagonist and asking myself why the Big Bad would want something like that done instead of just following my nose through the plot? VERY helpful.
One thing I’ve noticed because of this table: that bit about the story starts when everything but the action is over? I absolutely believe that’s true, but I also think that the farther you go into the acts, the more everything melts away but character-in-action. Everything has to be established in the first act, pushing a boulder up a hill, and after that, it’s the boulder rolling down hill, picking up speed, all action. I need to look at Act 2 again because it’s a long act and I’m thinking I’m still doing set-up there and not enough direct action. I know they DO a lot of stuff in that act, but I’m not sure if it’s in direct action against an antagonist. I know I’m good once I get to Act 3, and Act Four is just one big sequence bringing down the Big Bad, but that Act 2 . . . (Why is it always Act 2 that sags? Mess in middle, bleah.)
But I’m feeling much better about all of this now. Not dead yet. I think I’ll go for a walk. (I quote that scene WAY too much lately.) I just have to remember that readers read for character. Well, I read for character. So that’s what I have to double down on now.
Dear god, I want this book finished. Again.
In other news, Krissie arrives on Sunday. YAY!
And now, back to work.