Fast Forward

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If for some reason you’ve made the very poor judgment call to actually read this blog with any regularity, then I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Holy crap Dave you’ve written two blogs in almost as many days! (I say almost because they were each posted at opposite fringes of two consecutive days). Now, if you’ve made the even bigger judgment error of continuing to read, here’s what’s on my mind:

I’m working on Wine Bottles and Broomsticks – all the way out in chapter 9, if you can believe that. So far, it’s been fun, possibly the most fun writing project I’ve had to date. However, I’m now staring at a problem. It’s not a major problem, like a terrible character or gaping plot hole or a plot that just isn’t going anywhere. Nope. That’s not it at all.

I just reached a stopping point.

Dave?

Yes?

You’re just a little over 30K in and you haven’t even gotten to the main point of action you’re building up to.

You can see why this is a problem for me.

Okay fine, it feels like a stopping point, make 9 a short chapter and move on.

Well, that’s the sticking point.

I really don’t see how – are you making this a bigger problem than it is?

No-no, it’s not like that, what I want to do is fast-forward a few weeks. To this point in the story, things have more or less gone day by day. There haven’t been any major breaks in time, however, I’d like to skip ahead to avoid some rather tedious and unnecessary repetition. I want to jump to a scene just before the action really starts to pick up again. In order to make that work, I’m going to have to recap the previous few weeks of time. I don’t see an awful lot going on in that span of time, and I need some depth of time to pass in order for later elements to really be believable.

I think you may have already made a decision Dave.

No. I haven’t, actually. By skipping ahead, I’m cutting out a lot of time in which I can develop plot and characters, it’s just that outline-wise, I don’t have a hell of a lot to actually drop in there. Not only that, I run the risk of throwing off the pacing and making the end of the story feel rushed. No proper build up.

Okay, you know what, you’re clearly not going to take my advice, perhaps you need to get a second opinion.

That’s a great idea. Any takers?

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17 thoughts on “Fast Forward

  1. Keira Drake says:

    Don’t lose your momentum. Skip ahead for now; you can always go back and smooth out (or fill in) the transition period later. It might prove the perfect spot to stick something you haven’t thought of yet. 🙂

    Just my two cents!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nico Smit says:

    I had the same thing at one point in my book… I would reach the point of my day that I was supposed to write, and then just sigh. “This is a boring part of the book to write, I don’t feel like writing it”.

    What hit me then was this, “If this is going to be boring for me to write, then it’s really going to be boring to read as well”. That made me decide that I had to change something – don’t write boring, tedious chapters. I spruced my boring part up by focusing on exciting character development, more-so than I initially planned. I threw in a romantic attraction build-up as well as a new dynamic in my character’s routine. I tried to change my boring passing of time and made it exciting again.

    I also agree with Keira in that, if you really don’t feel like writing that part, then it will be easier to skip forward. But I find that my characters develop differently from how I planned in those character build-up bits, and that then influences how the next action bit plays out… so to me it’s still better to rather battle through it. Let your characters surprise you, let them do something unexpected (to you)
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is good advice, and runs along the same as everyone else so far. I ruminated on it overnight and thought about other comments and came to the conclusion that I’m just going to have to dig in and find something that will make that section interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You say that the passing time will be boring, but then that you’d have to catch up on events. Which is it? If there are no events, don’t try to catch them up. A few sentences will convey the deceptive quiet of this time. If there are events, then as Nico suggested, go more into depth so you can build tension in this deceptively quiet time.

    In other words, it’s your call. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent advice, as always. You’re right, if I’ve got anything to say, I just need to work out how to say it and not avoid it because it’s not going to be the easiest section to write. I’m going to have to get super creative to not repeat myself and keep things on track.

      Like

  4. You say that you COULD use that time to develop plot and characters, but right now you don’t have anything to put there. That’s fine – maybe ideas will come to you later. In the meantime, I’d suggest skipping ahead, especially if that’s more exciting to you right now. I agree with what other people said – don’t lose your momentum, don’t write something boring to you because it will be boring to the reader. Skip ahead and fill in later if you want 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohhh wait, is this the book you’re publishing chapter by chapter? The one where you CAN’T go back later? Yikes, that changes things. Hmm, well I still think skipping ahead is the better choice, as you know what you want to have happen. Do you have time to mull on it a bit, see if some ideas come to you for this empty section? That’s an option if you can afford the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is my chapter-by-chapter one. On the bright side, I’m like 6 chapters ahead, so if I had to skip ahead a bit (which I now believe is probably not a super great plan), I could always go back. In any case. With the general current of advice running: Given your description of the situation, you are not in a position to ‘fast forward’ the plot, I’ve decided to figure out something that will advance the plot and characters without the fast forward. Anyhow, Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jessmbaum says:

    I say get drunk, sit down and let your subconscious self decide. haha

    Liked by 2 people

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