Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tying up loose ends with handcuffs
Too funny. Thought that title might "drag" you in and hold you hostage. In truth though, I sometimes feel like I need handcuffs to wrap up all the lose ends and chain them firmly in place. Sheesh, you'd think by now it would be an easy matter but for a pantser, it's quite a process.
I don't plot. I have tried, but alas, my brain just doesn't work that way. So - to keep things straight, I try to write the outline after I've written each scene. That sorta keeps me straight on things. However - I often have epiphany moments where I write one sentence that's supposed to foreshadow something that will happen much later in the story. If I can remember that I've done this as I write, no worries, but often I don't. So - I read through and all of a sudden this lone sentence jumps out. It's a great sentence, a true masterpiece of prose, but have I carried the idea forward? No.
Ugh, so - that means I either delete a wonderful sentence with lots of promise or I fulfill the promise offered and add scenes or sometimes even whole chapters. Then I have to go through and check for inconsistencies. Here's where I would love to handcuff the idea so it doesn't meander without proper footing.
Editing is a neverending process and I'm not sure as writers we're ever truly satisfied with the finished product. But hopefully, I'll leave no loose ends to haunt the reader.