Gaps

Well, this kind of sucks.  I need to go back and re-plot the characters for Undead and Inhuman.  Or, on second thought, it doesn’t quite suck since I’ve only plotted, like, three chapters over the last few days.  And it’s not that I have to re-plot from scratch, but rather I have to go back and comb through what I got so far with a fine comb.

But “this kind of sucks” sounds much more dramatic than “this is kind of so-so”.


I blab too much about Undead and Inhuman because I like keeping you guys up to speed on it, but at the same time I want to leave things behind the curtain so that there will be surprises when the time comes to read it.  I will give away two things: 1) the story is about vampires fighting aliens, and 2) the main characters are three soldiers named Austin Joyce, Matt Durham, and Bobby Daniels.  Terrible vampire names.  I’m sure you guys were expecting something like Dimitri or Antonio or Lestat, but these aren’t brooding, romantic vampires.  They are people who act just as people do today, and thus have ever day names.


When I finished going over the action and theme cards for each of the chapters, the next step was to go back and plot out the characters chapter by chapter.  And this worked at first, but then I came to a chapter where only one of the characters had something significant to do.  The others, not so much.  So that I’m going to do now is go back and review the plot one character at a time.


With one chapter in particular, I sat back and thought, “Here I am trying to force characters into doing something I don’t want them to do.”  For instance, one of the protagonists is a drone pilot, and for lack of better options, I had him go from piloting predators to experimental space-drones, and that jump seemed to be too far of a leap.  It seemed completely unnecessary.  Looking back, I came to the conclusion that it’d be better to ignore that character for a whole chapter rather than waste pages and the reader’s time with something that serves no purpose. 
I don’t expect any of these three guys meet each other during the story.  It’s three guys who happen to be fighting one war.  Because of that, their threads are independent of each other, and it’s a better use of my energy tracking each one from start to finish, locking off the thread, and then moving on to the next character.


I think the desire to have something for each protagonist in every chapter comes from when I wanted to post the novel as an online blog, and in that format where you’re pausing a couple of weeks between installments, you want to let the reader touch base with each character if only to remind them of their existence.


Ultimately, this is a case of me mixing a method with the wrong medium.

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