Structural Nonsense

Keck discovers that some terrible writing is structural.

Keck discovers that some terrible writing is structural.

What fun I had yesterday.

I had only the morning to work yesterday (there was a birthday in the family), so I was eager to get underway. I planned to use discipline to make steady progress despite the time constraints.

That is when things went wrong….

The Case of the Vanishing Horses

Horses mystified at sudden removal from Keck manuscript.

Horses mystified at sudden removal from Keck manuscript.

As I picked up Wednesday’s threads, began to realize that, although my characters had been riding horses for a day or two, the animals quietly dropped out of the narrative. No one had released the animals. It’s just that, quiet suddenly, my characters were walking. 

(I picture the horses following behind them casting confused glances at one another).

Repairing this required a little backtracking.

Structural Crap

With the horses restored, my morale was still strong. Although there had been a setback, I could pride myself on having spotted a problem and dealt with it firmly (and in a timely manner).


Next, however, I ran into a bad spot in the narrative: 

It had to do with rhythm (which sounds a little esoteric, but matters a great deal when it goes wrong). Simply put, the book desperately needed a break at that moment. The story needed put some things behind it and get on with the next chapter. Instead, the admittedly well-meaning book chose that moment to lurch into a convoluted and dreamy sequence that even the writer couldn’t endure. Some times, you need to go on.

Cutting was required.

But, as I moved forward, snipping and chopping, whole big revelations appeared in the bad scene. And the scene showed no signs of stopping. Whole caverns of muddled junk opened up.

And there I was sawing away at the pit props holding up the roof.

In the end, the whole thing had to come down. By the time I’d finished, the book was a thousand words shorter, big revelations were gone and important character moments had been slashed.

Still, I suspect that the book will function better with the horses (and without the crap!)

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