September 15, 2008
I know it seems incredible, but this is the way I work: I never decide the events leading up to the ending until the… End.
I have a chapter by chapter outline, but the ending is always pretty vague, and tends to change quite a bit over the months involved in writing a book. I just started Chapter 19 of Wintermoon Ice, which will be the final chapter. Yesterday I put the final plot twist in place. Why wait so long?
Well, the thing about plot twists is, you want them to come out of nowhere. The reader must be surprised and yet, the twist device must sit “naturally” within the arc of the story. A tall order. For me, it is easier to decide at the end, and go back and salt the story with tiny clues. This time I had two ideas in mind. I tried the first, but ran into logistical problems almost immediately. (How to get the body back up the stairs, basically.) Nothing worked. Nothing seemed natural. So taking a Taoist approach, I bagged this twist and went on to the next one.
Now I’m happy! 🙂
Maybe other authors do it the other way round…
What I am listening to: Arie Antiche/Dmitri Hvorostovsky
What I am reading: The Red Cross Girls With Pershing to Victory/Margaret Vandercook
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July 14, 2008
Just back from a weekend visit to the Bay, and we were blessed with nice weather, even though it is the dead of winter here. We counted eight sea lions on the beach, all young males. One had a number shaved on its belly, and it looked pretty strange.
Last time we visited, in mid-June, someone had broken the lock off the shed door. But nothing had been disturbed, even the small generator we keep in there. Perhaps the thief was only after wood. Even though the bay is surrounded by forest it is very, very wet, so campers have to bring firewood with them. Drunk people will often go to extreme lengths to keep a fire going.
This time we replaced the rusty sliding bolt with a brand-new stainless steel one. I hope it will keep curious people out of the shed. But really we have been lucky. Though the house is very isolated we have not had problems with vandalism, only rats.
We walked out to Long Point, which is close to the southernmost point on the South Island. The wind felt like it came straight from Antarctica!
What I am listening to: Verdi Arias/Dmitri Hvorostovsky
What I am reading: Thuvia, Maid of Mars/ E R Burroughs
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