Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 12 - Giving Characters the Third Degree Instead

Zero words today. I know it's too early in the evening to give up on writing for the day, but I've burned my brain up and I think I have to spend the evening taking notes.

The whole next section really depends on what happens in stuff I haven't written. (That is, everything I currently have will have to be rewritten to suit the next couple of scenes I write.) And I realized part of the reason I hadn't written it was because I still didn't really know the beat-by-beat of what the various bad guys and witnesses and victims were doing behind the scenes.

So I sat them down, one at a time, and grilled them. "What did you know and when did you know it?" They squirmed, gave me inconsistent stories, lied, but eventually I wore them down, and they started singing like canaries.

The hardest thing can be minor motivations. Things like what did the victim actually say to the killer, or the killer actually say to the accomplice, or why the thug chose to do that rather than this. Why wait? Why not wait? Is this person cold blooded, or is there some reason to be so calm at this moment? And how did the rhododendron really get uprooted? (Okay, I admit, there actually are no rhododendrons harmed in my novel. But a tomato worm had a tough day.)

Anyway, by the time I was done, I was able to tie in a whole lot of other little moments that were okay as they were, but will be much better now.

Running Total: 30688 Words.

30688 / 75000 words. 41% done!


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Those characters! :)

Hope you were able to pressure them into giving up some info. Sometimes days where we're figuring out a plan for the next couple of chapters are really the most productive of all.

Unknown said...

IT's good to ask your characters questions once and a while. You need them to speak up because they, like the rest of us, hide things. I think this is a good reminder for all us writers.