The Way of the Word

28. May 2010

Novel in Progress: Revenge of the Walking Dead

What, a NiP-post about the zombie novel? Didn’t I stop working on it some weeks ago?

Yes, I did. Sadly, though, the story isn’t letting go of me. Some time after I stopped working on it, I realized the biggest problem Revenge has had: Christopher Price.

Yes, my intended series character and the novel’s supposed main character was the biggest problem. He was forced into the story, didn’t fit in naturally. I had to contort the plot to make sure he would stay around long enough to play his part in the showdown. Because he had no reason to.

When I realized that, I also realized how I could use other characters in the novel to do the things Christopher was supposed to do. I would have been content to leave it at that, except…

A few nights ago, I literally woke up realizing that there was one thing Christopher did that none of the other characters could do. Only one thing, but that was a very major problem.

It’s Christopher who finds the 50 fetish dolls and tells the Mama Loa about them, which gives her the information she needs to devise a way to stop the zombies.

That was it for that night. My mind just wouldn’t let go of that problem. The PI would have a reason to find the fetish dolls, but he wouldn’t have the opportunity or reason to seek out Mama Loa and tell her about them. The racist would have the opportunity to find the fetish dolls, but he definitely wouldn’t talk to Mama Loa. Instead, he’d destroy them. I was awake in bed for the rest of that right because I. Just. Couldn’t. Let. It. Go. The novel’s done, I’m not going to go back to it, I kept telling myself. My mind kept telling me to shut up, there’s this major plot problem to solve.

When the alarm rang, I had figured out how to fix that problem.

I don’t really want to start Revenge of the Walking Dead over again. I don’t want to waste another year of my life. Not to mention that I have a major timing problem: I only just relaunched Made of Fail. One of the reasons why I had stopped creating Made of Fail was because I couldn’t do both that and write a novel at the same time.

But the novel isn’t letting me go. It demands my attention. It seems that if I don’t get back to it, if I don’t finish it, I will go insane.

I need to figure out how to time things so that I can fix the novel (maybe, when I’ve done that, it will let go of me) and write/draw Made of Fail in parallel.

Update: I deleted all the chapters with Christopher Price, just to see where that got me. It turns out that it would cost me half the novel.

Which implies that I could keep about half of what I’ve already written and need to replace the other half. When that’s done, I’d be back where I am now — at a 2/3 finished novel.

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