Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

“Secrets” done (victory dance here)

Okay, remind me to never, ever start a new thing again without any clue how to finish it, deal? Deal. Thanks.

Secrets is a story based on too many crime shows regarding a sort of… well, secret agency which trains agents to work a bit under the law spotlight in delicate mission. Nothing that had never been done before, so it should give me not too much trouble, right?

Wrong.

I embarked into Secrets hoping that the plot would eventually guide me and ended up with a huge chaos on my hands and a very strong male character torn in three ways. Thus the story I had gotten myself into had three main branches:

  1. Work conflict: The actual action story, which eventually developed into catching a Russian drug dealer
  2. Personal conflict: The main character struggles with his past, his present and the nature of his work.
  3. Love conflict: how both of the previous conflict affect the main character’s relationship.

secretsAt some point, when I was stuck, I started writing a flashback that would explain the background of some of the characters, and the way they interact with each other, but I got stuck there too. So I made a radical decision, I cut the flashback completely, and started writing where I had left the main story.

At some point these days I stumbled upon a very interesting post in the SFWA blog, “Painting Characters into Corners” by Nancy Fulda. Somehow – and a page of babbling and drawing schemes later – that gave me the idea to introduce a new character, a chemist, who would be in charge of analysing the drug sample the main character had obtained from his mission, and it was this guy who somehow magically had the key to make the plot roll.

I finally clocked in at almost 29,000 words (plus the 4,000 of flashback I discarded) but hey, it worked, and I am even quite satisfied with the result. I have made a huge amount of notes though, a whole new first draft so I can adapt the story to that when I go back to revise it. I guess I can’t complain in the end, and I am glad I managed to rescue it from the folder of ‘projects I shall never look at again’.

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