Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Backwards reversals...

I've always been the type who goes the wrong way, when choosing for himself. I go left when I should have gone right. I pick A when B would have been a smarter choice. My instincts have always been the most dyslexic party of me...when drawing, when looking for someplace I don't know, when buying a car (except for my Honda; that was a lucky break)...and it's proving to be consistent in my writing.

There's a voice in my head that's very faint and undemanding that suggests the right way to decide, but it's usually drowned out by my willingness to listen to my so-called instincts. Well, I finally caught on that when I write a moment in one of my books, once I have it down I should reverse it. That makes it more alive and fascinating.

I'm doing that, right now, with A65. I had Casey still in control when she and Adam get to the jet, with her telling him what to do. Nice enough because of the chaos that follows...but still just okay. Until I got the bright idea to have him take charge and help Casey set everything up. Something I had resisted because it didn't seem realistic...but then the voice said, "Try this" -- and now it's funnier and makes even more sense.

I've done that in a couple of other spots in the story, and it's helped immeasurably. first instincts seem to be cautious to the point of boring, but if I listen to the tiny voice long enough to catch what it's suggesting, boom -- magic ensues.

That happened twice in How To Rape A Straight Guy without me even thinking about it. Curt kills two men to save Shayes, which was always going to be part of the book. Initially, he did it because he was like an animal and Shayes was his meat (pun not intended), and the two bastards were trying to take it away from him. But all of a sudden Curt took an unconscious Shayes -- a man he had brutalized -- into a bathroom and bathed him and tended to him, like a lover. And later made sure he was found and cared for...and the ending suddenly shifted, massively.

I went back and added in a younger brother and how that kid was pulling it together, despite having the same home life as Curt, and Curt sees that he will be okay and that it was a possibility...and realizes he's got no one to blame but himself for the hell he's been living in. I've had people write to me, startled at how they feel sympathy for a man who's done something so evil.

I guess what I'm saying is, I need to give that voice a megaphone, somehow, so I can cut down on my workload when writing Place of Safety. Otherwise, I'll be working on it till I'm 90.

But that's only if I still have a brain, by then.

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