So, the first blush of the New Year has worn off and it is time to make intentions actions.
I am working on my book. Taking a dance class. Spending slightly less time obsessing over pool. As a result my game has deteriorated a tad. But I’m not obsessing. Trying to cut the cord with my online gaming. Which is open in another window as we speak. Sigh.
I’m writing this as a mental break from editing a chapter where an irritating imaginary reader keeps asking questions. Questions like:
“Why doesn’t she do X?”
“Is there a reason why A, B or C cannot happen?”
“Wouldn’t Z be the simpler solution?”
“How many rhetorical questions do you think you can get away with?”
And my favourite…
“Uh… aren’t those two characters talking in a small room about a third character… who is in that small room with them?”
(Actually that was last chapter. It’s sorted now.)
My initial reaction to the imaginary reader is unprintable. Then I accept the problems raised as valid. From my imaginary reader, folks. I’m having a dialogue with him. And it is a him, he has my voice. And he does not go away when I take a tea break.
I like the idea of saying, “Well not all possible scenarios have to be taken into account, or I could end up with David Foster Wallace-esque footnotes explaining why things do happen, why they don’t, and why some other stuff could have happened, and maybe did off the page. Does that seem appropriate to a fantasy novel? The narrative propulsion must be maintained – you are inventing rabbit holes to fall down!!”
This seems a little flip, and does not solve any of the problems presented.
So I’m dealing with the issues raised. Not through the medium of footnotes.*
No, I’m utilising some fantastically clunky insertions instead. They do not interrupt the flow of previously written action at all. No way. Author intrusion? Not in the slightest!
Hence the mental break over here in blog land.
Time to read the chapter over again and let the answers present themselves. Or go for a walk. But it is cold, so that’s out.
Elegant solutions will enrich the story. I will find them, if I just keep going.
And if not… well I’ll see if my beta readers spot the problems my imaginary reader did – he may be overly picky.
I would not be surprised by that in the least.
* I mean, I could, but it wouldn’t seem right for me, you know? Not my idiom and all that…