Conversations with my Muse, Part ???

Once again, I’ll save my Twitter contacts the joy of a post every time I come up for air, and the post will self-publish around midnight tonight. (Yes, I like WordPress’s scheduling feature. Now, if only it would Tweet to my account when the post goes out,…)

Going back two scenes, just because … and it’s about 10x faster than it should be. Shotgun rather than agonized.

Paragraph structure in fiction is way different than technical writing. Tech, short is the norm, and you keep to one topic per paragraph. Fiction works best when the thoughts wander a bit, then come back. If you change paragraphs with each topic you get single-sentence paragraphs. I’m still experimenting, but it seems to work best if I split paragraphs by pacing rather than strictly by topic. A single long rambly introspection is one paragraph. Sometimes the next paragraph, or the event that stops the ramble, is introduced in the previous one, to stop it, rather than being the start of the next one. That way drags the reader along rather than starting and stopping. Goes against my training, but seems to work better.

Okay, the emotional lifelines between the characters are all firmly secured, but they’ve taken over from the canon motives. Is this limited to this set of scenes, when they’re living in each others’ back pockets — which is fine. The canon motives could use a little complexity — or is it erasing the canon motives totally? Need to add a tiny bit of canon motives to the mix.

Rethinking, rereading. I think we’re good here.

Jason’s motive is still vengeance, as in canon. I added two friends to the list of people he’s avenging for. It’s also protection, which is in canon, but to a lesser extent than vengeance. Jason tries to protect Lucy and that Galaxy Girl.

Mark’s lifeline allows him to go further into his duty. That duty is still to carry on what his father started. I add a motive to allow Princess to give up less. The way I did it seriously overshadows memory of his father. Perfect line about “I do it for you.” Can I add “and Dad” and not have it come off forced?

Normal solution worked: Remove that wonderful line, preserved here for posterity:
So you can have the life you need.

Now I prefer it without the line. With the line, it looks like he’ll fight to keep them at far opposite ends of the balance. Without it, he’s allowing her to move closer to the middle, which acknowledges that he’ll have to move in as well. (I’m thinking like an engineer. Remember the Tea Balance rule from ChE100E?)

Oooh, it also lets me add in a line about his father’s lifeline / balance. Circle closing. Yep, if in doubt, kill the line that stands out as wonderful. Works every time.

Also, still need her to reassure her roommate not to worry when she doesn’t come home, and to arrange for the room to be empty.

Another loose end: When they add up her courses and her posting, what do they think?


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