30.11.06

The Sweet Spot.

And that does it. Another month, another novel. (Which, once again, you can read for yourself if you ask.)

One of the great sensations of writing a large work in a small deadline is the fact that no, you can't plan out 50,000 words in advance. You're going to have to make it up as you go along. Usually, that means that you start including conversations you hear at work, or you bang your head against the keyboard until you finally get an idea.

This month, though, just once, it came to me in mid-sentence.

Um, spoilers, I guess...

I had already planned out that "Chubby the Checker" was going to be this schmope named Justin. I'd introduced him beforehand, and made him a blabbermouth, to make it seem less likely that he'd be a silent mascot. Then, during the big confrontation scene, our heroes find him at home alone. I thought that I'd given him a nicer place than a single guy on a WHL salary deserves, so I mentioned that his wife wasn't at home. Then, he starts blabbering again, and I realise that I've created a character that's too unbelievable. Not only that, he's not even entertaining. An excellent source of wordcount, but not entertaining. One of my main characters shared my cynicism, and he actually mocked this spineless sap, saying, "Look, you are "Chubby", right? It's not your wife or anything?"

...and as I typed those words, I realised he wasn't joking. "Chubby" was indeed Justin's wife. She was the dominant type, exerting her decisions onto her hapless hubby, just like she exerted her energies on an entire audience. Boom. Just like that, I had a small twist, a new (and stronger) character, and a believable relationship for her background.

That moment right there, when my subconcious wakes up and says hello? That's one of the best feelings in writing, and it's why I'm signing up for NaNoWriMo next year.

Well, that and the dream of publication.

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About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.