Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Spanner R5 #amediting Update: The Insidious Plot, or Making This Thing Coherent

There's still a lot of chapters in Spanner Book 1, especially in the flashback chapters, which are made up of pretty much nothing but exposition. Originally I compiled them out of short segments which, in their original context as scenes scattered throughout the second half of Chapter 1 R4, didn't need action. Well, now that the short segments are part of long chapters, they need to contribute more than just background exposition to the plot. And so I'm going to plot the chapters. Among other things, I'm adding action, suspense, and antagonism generally.

There are seven flashback chapters. I have at least rough plots in mind for the first four:

  1. "The Emergent Pattern": what choice of action will Jennifer take, and will it clash with Shira's?
  2. "Climinal Team Origin": the girls have to convince Rico to join them for better reasons than just money and thrills.
  3. "Breakfast at Winkie's": the team have to fend off both terrorists and cops at the same time and still get the weaponized malware and Cold War tech they need for their mission.
  4. "Welcome to the Penguindrome": they have to root out a group of "boxed crook" police infiltrators, including one who will later become a major villain whose final act sets off the plot of Book 6.
The problem here is that the remaining three flashback chapters don't yet even have plots I can connect with each other and the present-time chapters. Agent Niemeyer and Paulie the Worm, who appear in "Breakfast at Winkie's", don't return to the foreground until the last flashback chapter, "The Fuses Have Been Lit". As for the remaining chapters, "Know Your Enemy" and "The Chosen One", I haven't even decided which segments of Chapter 1 R4 go where.

I have the same problem with several of the present-time chapters as well: they remain unplotted.

So here's my next challenge: before I get back to editing the narration and dialogue, I must give all these neglected chapters the plots they require, as if they really are the TV episodes I once intended them to be. Once I give them their structure, the rest should come easier.

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