Note: This is an old piece brought forward. The book I was working on at the time was The King’s Sacrifice, book 2 in the Khekarian series, and is now published.
One good long scream saw the morning in. Some days are like that. Then I had two cups of coffee and stared at the computer as though blaming it for everything. After that, I backed up my file in a separate place because I was about to hack to pieces a good half of my manuscript to date. The thought of discovering that, no, this doesn’t work either and I’d have to put it all back together again was too daunting. Backup would restore all if necessary.
I suppose I ought to explain.
Writing is like weaving. It really is. I like to run with three threads at a time, side by side in each chapter. Sometimes, by necessity, I run with two, sometimes with four, both rare. Most often, it’s three.
The Khekarian Series tells a story that reaches across the galaxy, sometimes the storyline running side by side, far, far away from each other. So then the chapters alternate, evens picking up one side of the galaxy and odds telling what’s happening at the other. Each side, of course, with three different threads. Or two or four.
That means with each book, I’m handling up to eight threads, but usually six, all needing to be interwoven and balanced with each other. Some threads merge together, others split, so there’s flexibility going on, too. In all of this, timing is important. When the whole story is racing forward over days and weeks – theirs, not mine – then each side (evens and odds) just takes the story forward, it doesn’t matter. But when one side slows down to the hours in a day and the next segment will also be there, you can’t have a different chapter in the middle of that racing forward by weeks. You end up with a “hang on a minute” realization that one side has covered a vast period of time while the other has dragged forward only a day.
It will not do! That balance really is important. Well, to me, anyway. This applies to the individual threads within each chapter as well as between the chapters themselves. One segment cannot move forward unless all segments up to that point have let go of the moment. [continue reading...]