Monday, November 8, 2010

When the plot stops

I'm working on a fantasy novel this month (and probably beyond November and NaNoWriMo) but found that my interest had flagged a little this weekend. What was up with that?

I realized that I had let the plot stumble into a chapter of conversation.  No action, just conversation.  And, even more painful to admit, I had steered that conversation into backstory and an information dump.  No wonder the story was hard going all of a sudden.

So I struck through an entire chapter (hated to just delete all those words.  Maybe some of the conversation will reappear in the middle of a fight scene.... well, I can dream...)  and stuck some more action.  Suddenly we've gone from chit-chat around a fire pit to drama on a falling log.

This revelation is thanks to Jeff Gerke's book, The Art and Craft of Writing Fiction, where he slashed through dry dialogue and other forms of telling, zeroing in on showing us the story.  Dialogue isn't necessarily telling, but mine was and I am moving on to more showing.

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