Monday, December 18, 2006

Well, I've been thinking about writing.

This will sound odd, but this evening I realized why I've been so reluctant to get back to this book. I was looking over the ms., wondering what large blue chunks might still be there, and I realized/admitted to myself that the next big task isn't eliminating blue but reorganizing, restructuring major parts of the book. I knew that, on some level, but I was refusing to admit it.

The story isn't linear. As it is now, it follows the three main characters, or four as it turned out, on their travels through time, focusing on one for a long time, then switching to another, etc. That resulted in overlapping stories and in some scenes being done twice, from different points of view -- something like the Back to the Future movies. I loved those movies and thought them brilliant, but that gimmick turns out to be confusing in places in this ms.

I have to reorder things now. The story still jumps back and forth, but the narrative flow has to have a more linear feel to it. As it is now, it's confusing and can jerk the reader out of the story. I know what's going on (well, at least I hope so), but someone else won't.

Without consciously realizing it, I knew all of that and was reluctant to tackle the problem. As it happens, I had a somewhat similar problem with my last novel, Business Secrets from the Stars. That book doesn't involve time travel, but the original version had two different stories that I had a lot of trouble combining properly. And yet, BizStars ended up, in my opinion, as far and away the best thing I've ever written, so I have to keep reminding myself of that and take heart from that experience.

Coincidentally, I was talking on the phone to my father tonight. He's 97 and knows nothing about computers and generally cares even less, but tonight he asked me to explain what a blog is. Given his lack of background knowledge, that was harder than one might expect, but I think I made it clear enough to him. I began to wonder if there are blogs devoted to recording the bloggers' conversations with their aged parents. Given the number and diversity of blogs, it seems highly likely that there are. I wouldn't want to read them.

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