Herding Cats

I had a good writing day today. Not NaNoWriMo rapid, but creative. I’ve been struggling with the opening pages of my sequel for some time now. At one time, I thought Bandits of Celadon would go twice as fast as Avians of Celadon, because I have more experience and all the world-building and character development is done. Wrong. I kept getting lost in recaps and going off on tangents. Yesterday I had a revelation while I was driving to Winnipeg for Samantha Beiko’s seminar/blue pencil at the Manitoba Writer’s Guild. Excellent, by the way, I came back feeling re-energized. Oh, yeah, the revelation. The characters are fighting me. It’s not that they want to stray from their nature, it’s that they won’t follow the script. I want them to accomplish certain things in certain scenes. I need Corby to reveal that Raven is being monitored by the Converts. She won’t do it. She doesn’t trust Raven’s young friends with such dangerous information, and she is more concerned with the object Raven brought back from her perilous journey – a leather flying jacket from a long-lost friend. Is the friend trying to send her a message? Or is someone else? So all my previous attempts went awry, disintegrating into meaningless dialogue and treading over what amounts (for the reader) to old ground. Multiple points of view were used in Avians so that the reader could learn of separate events in different places. Now some of the principal characters need to compare notes and combine their efforts. I have to create the right stresses to get them to interact in the ways I require. Today, I made progress on that, writing an opening scene that has a decent opening line, new conflict, and propels the plot forward. It speaks to the goal of the protagonist and suggests what the resolution must be. It fits the themes. It has anger!

I feel so much better now. All my cats are running in the same direction.

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