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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

What's NOT Going To Happen?

I'm in that band of writers who try to plan out what's going to happen in their next few chapters. I also have a broader outline for my novel which invariably ends up being amended twice a week, though I know roughly where my characters will be come the finale. My 'chapter plans' are modest scrawls in an A5 pad that I have trouble reading at times. They consist of bullet points just telling me what I need to cover in the chapter, to make sure nothing's dragging or occuring where it shouldn't.

Then today I realised that this isn't working for the particular chapter I'm writing (seventeen, if it matters!). This is a pivotal scene: my protagonist, Lily, is trying to unravel the extent of the deception around her with the assistance of her friends. But certain things need to remain a mystery! There are conclusions she shouldn't jump to right now, even if the reader can see them plainly. It's not within her reach to figure everything out at this precise moment so I'm having to be careful. Instead of writing a chapter plan detailing what needs to happen, I'm creating a list of bullet points telling me what better not happen under any circumstances.

My main problem at the moment? Lily must not connect a chance meeting with any of her current troubles. There's no reason she would. But, of course, as the omniscient presence I know everything. Half the job at the moment seems to be forgetting what I know and concentrating on what my character can know.

I do hope I'm not the only person who struggles with this!

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