Saturday, October 28, 2006

Part 2

I ranted and raved, steamed and stewed…and did various other non-productive things that really only amounted to procrastinating.

Then I decided to get productive and actually solve the issue with Apparitions. I had Bailey, the ghosts and the serial killer. Happy with those three elements they were slated to stay. I also found upon further examination that the heightened horror factor actually worked very well, better in fact than the pure thriller I had intended.

In hindsight I shouldn't have been so shocked or stumped. Books with a high aspect of horror, monsters and darkness have all ways enthralled me and so it stands to reason Apparitions would also have this slant.

With a shrug of the shoulders and a moment of lament that the time I'd spent stewing would have been better spent accepting and rewriting…I changed flow of the story to better fit a ghostly horror / suspense story.

I sat down with the text I had and noted the changes I'd need to make at the beginning of the story to make the new plot focus work. Interestingly enough I found these changes would make the story far stronger and engaging. From there I tinkered a bit with the supporting characters and then finally wrote a new and extremely loose outline of the final three-quarters of the book.

As a note that outline went off course too and eventually got ditched. But the topic of outlines and plotting deserve a section of their own. If you're interested look for that one on Raven's Hollow.

Anyway, it may sound more complex than it was and it wasn't nearly as time consuming as it sounds. In the end Apparitions became a better book and I learned a lot about myself as a writer.

When plots, characters or genre go awry sit back and take a close look at whatever new possibility is being presented by this twist. Sometimes we find that if we let it go the way it wants to we uncover a brilliant, lively story. Other times we realize there's been a mistake along the way that needs to be corrected -- perhaps even something we forced. Either way and no matter what the main issue is rest assured it can be fixed with a little thought and trust in yourself.


About the author -

Raven Bower is the author of the upcoming horror novel Apparitions (ArcheBooks March 2007)

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