Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Whale Below: Wednesday's output

I managed a good bit of writing last night. Tuesday's rewrite helped a great deal in getting me going on this one. It's starting to turn into the fun romp I'd hoped. On the other hand, I'm starting to see some of the plot creep worm its way back into the piece. It's still leaner than I normally write, but my gray matter is seeing different elements of the story and saying to me, "Yeah, we want short. But logically wouldn't it serve the story better if...?" Example: Last night First Mate Magda and Capitan Valdez were supposed to watch a particular event unfold from the pilothouse of La Aspiva Feroz. But then I realized 1) that isolated the reader from the drama, and B) the logical thing would be for Valdez to send Magda to precipitate said drama. So what was originally intended to be recounted in a few lines at most grew into several pages. It's still tight, but there's a lot more there than I'd originally planned. Here's the aftermath, which I particularly like:
"Looks like the wreck'll float well enough. I've reassigned that grapple crew to salvage," she announced, coming down the stair. "And I'm about to have to kill that Chago, Capitan. Cut him up into little pieces and feed him to the crabs."

Capitan Valdez didn't turn from the open windscreen. He leaned out, looking over the kelper whale carcass below. "Not sure if I can spare the body, Magda. Is it necessary?"

"That sonofabitch been thinking impure thoughts 'bout me. I let a man get away with that once before. Ain't making the same mistake twice."

Capitan Valdez nodded thoughtfully. "Well, use your best judgement. But try not to spook the rest of the crew."

I realized this exchange would take place somewhere in the story as I was writing page 1. I just didn't know the context or the circumstances. Now I do. And Magda is shaping up to be a great character. Pity poor Chago--his death will be neither happy nor heroic.

Now Playing: The Smithereens 11

No comments:

Post a Comment