So ... why does everybody nowadays start their sentences with 'So'? I haven't a clue. I'm afraid I have taken to jumping in with: 'a needle pulling thread' every time they do, though. I find it irritates them a lot, and as I head slowly and inexorably towards the tunnel at the end of the light, irritating people is becoming a bit of a lifestyle choice.
But back to the Victorian novel. You remember the Victorian novel? The one my agent said had waayy too many plots and characters to make it worth sending out. (Did Dickens' agent ever admonish him for having a plot'n'character surfeit? I think not.)
Anyway while you, gentle blog reader had forgotten all about the Victorian novel, it has been quietly festering away on a back burner, to mix metaphors. Two minor plots were summarily removed, even though it meant shedding some amusing sub-characters that I thought were rather well-written, but hey, what do I know, I'm just the author.
And there has been some serious editorial BDSM. Paragraphs have been whipped into shape. Ruthless control and domination has been exerted. Cutting and slashing has been the order of the day, all culminating in eleven thousand words lying gasping and panting on the Red Pen Floor of Pain, or wherever words go when you press the delete key.
At one point, I did begin to wonder whether I was on the cusp of invent a brand new literary genre: The Postit novel - for readers with absolutely no interest in reading.
And then, just when I was congratulating myself on some fine, if drastic reduction, it happened: a whole new sub-plot suddenly emerged. Honestly guv, never saw it coming; would I lie to you?
It was like that record of Sparky's Magic Piano, if anyone remembers it. (For those who don't: there was this boy called Sparky who had a magic piano that played itself, but everyone thought it was him. Eventually, the piano took over completely, and it all went horribly pear-shaped.)
So (used correctly) this is where we are at: I'm trying to cut things out, but at every turn new plots are springing up all over the place and fresh characters are creeping out of the undergrowth and for whatever reason, I seem utterly powerless to stop it happening. The more I edit, the more the text sprouts new bits, like some literary Hydra.
Please could someone out there call the Plot Police - my novel is committing crimes against narrative!
Next blog: Another fine guest will be joining me to talk about their life and writing. Stay reading.
I love your posts Carol! It is amazing when plots and characters seem to come from nowhere and then the characters start telling me what they want to do. I like a book with lots of sub-plots which link together and mirror the main plot and I try to write in the same way.ReplyDelete
Thanks Anita. I love blogging!! Yes, it is odd the way books develop an internal momentum of their own.Delete
Good luck, Carol. I'm drafting a novel and my agent suggested switching things around in the beginning. It was a great idea, but it's now affected so much and I had to do a lot of rewriting before moving on. I THINK I have things were they need to be to keep going now. LOLReplyDelete
We are NOt In Charge.Learned that a while ago.Delete
So, dude, is this really your car? Cool!
Plots eh? I make mine up as I go along – as some of my readers may have suspected! (and I don’t mean that in the obvious way) Sometimes those subplots just have a mind of their own.
1. I am going to start using the phrase BDSM instead of ‘editing’ it’s pretty accurate – write on! You probably do know best…
2. Are you sure about that Sparky piano thing, that’s just creepy! :)
Yup, that;s my car. And if you never listened to Sparky's Magic Piano, you missed out on a seminal experience that blighted the lives of a lot of kids growing up in the 1950's. Main reason I refused to learn the piano, and opted for the flute instead.Delete
Ah, how much do I know what you mean about the 'so...' thing! I am soon to do another 'things that make me go grrr' post...ReplyDelete
Know what you mean about multiplying plot syndrome. My next nov is going to be a sequel of the last, thus it should be about the same length. Already I can see too many sub plots developing, and the plan's not even down on paper yet....
This is a wonderful example, by the way, of commenting on someone's blog while still managing to make it 'all about ME'.
If I said lol, I'd say it now.
What can I say? I agree with what you say. All of it. Especially the last remarks!!!Delete
ARGH! But... who is he writer to argue.ReplyDelete
Great post, as always!ReplyDelete
So, Carol, those unsuspecting Year 11, 12 and 13 dudes who come to you for English tuition are going to have, like, a speech lobotomy on the side?
Or maybe you can turn them into sub-plots? Whatever!
It will all turn out right in the end.
Lovely post. I'm only revising my 1st but I'm working really hard to not add (as I'm trying to slash) and/or let my character's spiral out of control. Seems like this Victorian novel of yours may be able to turn into a few different ones? The one, yet dangerous, thing I love about writing is how lost you can become in your characters and plots. It's so much fun!ReplyDelete
Haha good luck! Once your characters get wind of what you're doing, they will make a bid for control. Believe me. And then they will invite their friends in.Delete
I like your response to "So..." (Although I am guilty of that too.) I have something similar I say to kids, when I tell them something and they respond with, "So?" I tell them, "Sew buttons!" I don't know where it came from, but I've always said it, and it drives kids nuts! ;)ReplyDelete
Good. Not just me then.DD does it ALL the time. Very irritating.Delete
I am one of those people who probably over use 'so'. Maybe more in writing than in speaking. I don't know... until you meet me lol!ReplyDelete
p.s. I may have more followers... but you get more comments ;-) lol!
I've been meaning to read this blog post for a few days now. Finally got around to it.
It'snot a competition..grr..... thanks for your comments. I'm finding, sadly, that I'm doing it too. So I'm now one of those ...do what I say not what I do writers!! SAD.Delete
Hey Carol, I love your blog it's very amusing and I like your voice. I have just become a follower and will definitely be buying a book or two of yours. I am writing my first YA paranormal novella and have also started a blog.ReplyDelete
I'll be tuning in again soon.
Thanks Julie. Have been on your blog and left comment. Welcome to the mayhem that is The Pink Blog!Delete
I'd love to read the old sub-plots & characters too.ReplyDelete