Unlike any of my published works, this project, with more moving parts to keep straight in my head, would produce a full-blown novel.
Why in my head?
Because few things in writing rival me sitting in front the computer, with its screen not only showing the words my fingers are typing but, revealing where my story is going.
Not this time; something was amiss.
Sure the story line was intriguing, and the characters were evolving. I had done my research of the period into which I had set my fictional piece. But, the number of pages was piling up with my protagonist years away from moral dilemmas that would define him and his story.
Could I weave believable multi-dimensional characters, rich dialogue, strong plots, with twists and turns, into Perry Mason revelations?
Not at the rate I was advancing the saga; mine would be the world’s longest novel.
How to keep readers hooked if I could not keep them awake?
For once I did not see myself apologizing to anyone on the old A Team for saying how I love it when my, making-it-up-as-I-go, plan comes together. Not this time, not with this tale.
I didn’t just sense something was wrong; I felt it.
But there was hope. I remembered my teachers had tried to pound the basics of good writing design into my head years ago. My suspicions said I had veered off course and lost track of one of every writer’s many mandates:
Whatever you write has to advance your story.
My task? Find a teacher to confirm my hunch and get me back on track. Once done, I would be fine.
Ah, the Internet.
While the Internet can help, the real message here is storytelling is both art and science. In focusing on the art, I didn’t use the science, or, is it common sense? Together they could decrease the likelihood of me wondering off on dubious writing side trips.
My good news is pre-defining the flow and the targets to hit along the way, do not prevent off-the-cuff writing; it guides it.
I am not there yet but I am enjoying knowing where and when everything connects. I can still amaze myself but now it will come with controls.
Whatever I write will advance my story.
Yes, I could continue my old way. No, not when there are rewrites.