The first sentence I wrote yesterday…

…will not appear today, because I didn’t write a new sentence yesterday.

However, I have a good reason, and I did work on the book.

Here’s what’s happened. For the past, oh, 20,000 words or so I’ve known that I was approaching a point at which the events I have so far described in the book would no longer fit into the synopsis I’ve been working from (the synopsis I used to sell the book). I reached that point last night, when I sat down to write and realized I had no idea what should come next.

Obviously, I needed to replot.

The story is told in a series of scenes with five viewpoint characters (one more than Marseguro, if you’re counting). There are also a couple of major characters whose viewpoints I never use–call them “plot-drivers.”

I created a couple of lists: one of everyone’s current physical location and situation, and one of what everyone wants at this point of the story. Then I started from where I am and figured out how these various conflicting desires would drive the plot from here to the ending of the book, which isn’t going to change (at least, I don’t think it is).

One thing that has altered my original plot is the fact that one of these plot-drivers and one of the viewpoint characters (Andy King, whom I’ve mentioned before) did not exist in the synopsis. Andy came in fairly early for a very practical reason–I needed someone to be in a particular location who could experience events that needed to be dramatized, and none of my original viewpoint characters would do. Once he came in, though, he needed a back story, and motivation, and now I’ve suddenly realized that what he wants is going to force the climactic events of the story to play out in an entirely different fashion than I originally expected.

The “plot-driver” is having a similar effect. He appeared out of nowhere a few thousand words ago, and now I’ve got him right in the middle of things. Like that famous theatrical axiom that if there’s a gun on the mantlepiece in the first act it had better be used by the final act, once you’ve stuck in a character like that, he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do: if he doesn’t do anything, he shouldn’t even be there. And I like this guy, so he’s staying.

An even more recently introduced character that began as just a sort of “background performer” is going to have a major role to play before the end, too.

Anyway, I think I’ve got it all figured out, which means I can now resume writing. I don’t expect any more hang-ups to the end…although you never know when some character will take it into his or her head to do some darn-fool thing that screws up all my nice outlining.

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