Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, October 20, 2014

I love it when the book takes over...

By that, I mean it takes on a life of its own. Sometimes it turns out to be a mess, like what happened with OT, but I'm beginning to think that only happens because I'm not really listening to the characters as they tell their stories. And looking back, Jake was getting flustered with everything that was going on, like he felt he had to keep adding more and more to keep me interested.

That's not to say what he brought in was wrong, some of it just detracted from his meaning. Now that I've got some distance from that, I can see how cluttered it had become. And how him telling me who the bad guy is was a way to try and simplify things. I'm amazed that I fought with him on it.

I'm hoping I've caught on and can keep that in mind with Bugzters, because it's started telling me what the story's really about, and wants me to add back in a character I cut to help clarify that. In my first draft of the screenplay, Alex had a brother named Drew, who was ill, and Alex blamed him as the reason for them moving. I was asked to cut that and focus on Alex, completely, in the script, with Taylor as his supporting friend. I did...and it was the wrong thing to do.

Then when we were doing the rewrites making BZ into an animated script, I was being pushed to get rid of Taylor, too. Combine her with Alex. By that point I'd learned my lesson and flat out refused. The reaction was not pretty. I'm lucky they're allowing me to do this as a book.

I thought for a bit about putting Drew back in the story...but I couldn't see how he'd fit, anymore. Until tonight. When the Bagh-star understand how much Alex hates moving from his friends, they try to fix things as a thank you to him. But it comes after he realizes his father is the reason for the move, so it's no longer necessary. The man is never satisfied with where he works and keeps thinking the next job will be a better one. What these moves do to his family is secondary in his thought process.

It's still going to take some finagling to work Drew in, but he's suddenly become essential to Alex's development as a person. It feels funny saying that about an 11 year-old boy. At that age, you're anything but developed. But sometimes you learn things about life that jolt you out of childhood.

Hmm...maybe I should stop referring to this as a children's story...

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