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Changing Creations

January 13, 2018
Posted at 3:01 am

This has been an interesting week in the development of The Wilhelm Scream as I have looked again at some of the later chapters and plot progression for Book One.

The background for this period of reflection is based on the fact that the original first draft of some fifteen days of plot, incident, etc., was written over the course of a few days back in July last year. At that time, I was obviously dealing with less fully developed and considered characters, meaning that certain narrative episodes were driven very heavily by various plot ideas I had had at that time.

As I came to the end of the fifteenth day of the first sketches, I recognised that I was becoming less connected with my characters, more connected with my plot, and that if they were headed to the then intended conclusion, I really needed to better understand my characters. Hence the decision to pause, go all the way back to the first chapter, and engage in the 'heavy editing' that ultimately led to the beginning of the publication of Luke's and Stef's story here at SOL.

What this has also meant is that as a result of the 'heavy editing' of the first nine days I have gained a greater understanding of my characters, and now I understand that to force some of them in certain possible directions would be to run counter to the ways in which those characters have been established.

This means I am faced with excising possibly up to a third of the incidents in the remaining chapters, leaving quite a few holes in terms of flow and also plotting as the book heads towards its conclusion. Indeed, when this story was first sketched out, I had not yet decided whether or not to continue beyond a certain point, knowing only that I had the groundwork for something which I wanted to spend the time and energy on to see how it would progress. This was another reason to 'go back to square one', as it were.

I am now in the position of not only understanding how the Rowden's adventures might continue, but also wish to continue them, as their story has been a source of great personal fun for me to develop and explore, and I generally enjoy having them 'hanging out' in my head.

This means that as I get into the later chapters of what is now Book One, I need to re-think how Book One moves towards its conclusion, which elements need to be foreshadowed for Book Two, which elements need to be 'hidden in plain sight', and which elements of Book Two might even be helpfully brought forward into Book One to keep Luke and Stef headed in certain directions with a degree of swiftness.

Consequently, Chapter Ten is essentially the last of the 'unadulterated' chapters where the three main scenes will remain as they were in the first draft, Chapters Eleven to Fifteen will be heavily re-written, and it is now envisaged that Book One will conclude around Day Fifteen rather than Day Twenty, though this is not yet certain as it depends upon how matters progress in the re-writing of Eleven through Fifteen.

So for those loyal readers who keep asking for more and quicker, this is why things sometimes don't go as planned. I'm still looking to getting Book One done as swiftly as possible, but there might be some small hiccups along the way as I keep the remainder of this story consistent with my characters. I know where they're headed, but how they're going to get there is not so certain.

If nothing else, authoring even the most well-plotted out of stories can still result in some surprises along the way.