I sat down today and in Scrivener I created a page for each scene. I then put each scene into the acts they are currently in for the vomit draft. Finally I labeled each scene for the plot line they are a part of. One of the things that resulted is I ended up breaking up some of the scenes that covered multiple plot lines into separate scenes. Except for one in the beginning of the book.
It’s where they are walking to the town after they get the package. Thomas expresses a lot of things here. Angst about his aunt using them like glorified gophers. Wishing he could find his mother and twin sister. Wishing he could prove himself in the world. You know that kind of stuff. Overall what the hell is that? It’s not really the main plot which deals with the Soul Eater, but it is all the things that drives Thomas. So… his personal growth I guess? I suppose I need more thought in this because if this is the case then this plot line has only four scenes, 3 in Act 1 and 1 in Act 2, that I can identify that cater to it right now. I have no idea if that’s a bad thing or not, but something in me says there should be one more scene for this in Act 3 to round it out.
Why? Act 1 is where you set things up and introduce everything. Act 2 is where shit happens, tangles up, and characters start to figure things out. Act 3 is where things climax and need to be concluded.
So here with this plotline of Thomas’ character development part of the issue is in Act 1 during their walk to town I show the readers he feels like he is being under utilized. Then through the course of Act 1 I have two more scenes that show off his unique talents and failures with using them. Now in Act 2 his power are fully awakened and it would seem he’s mastered these talents – outside of battle at least. In Act 3 of the vomit draft I never revisit this topic again. I don’t know… maybe it is alright for subplots to conclude during Act 2 if it’s what brings the character towards the climax of the main plot? I mean in this particular case, he comes into mastery of his talents during the climax of the main plot so I suppose it’s okay.
The rest of this plotline – finding his mother, finding his sister, angst over his aunt – become their own subplots from there and should be quickly introduced in Act 1. All of them are, except one: the Thomas and Rue subplot. Yes Rue gets introduced in Act 1, but the way she is introduced activates the Thomas and Rhae romance subplot instead. It’s the whole, “YOU HAVE MY GIRL! GIVE HER BACK!” He’s not going to care who Rue is or much of anything else during that scene. He might think about it later though once Rhae is safe and sound so I could write in that scene for Act 1. Just explore that and see where it goes and how it feels but that scene where Rue is introduced can’t cover anything else emotionally other than how he feels for Rhae in that moment unless I’m willing to completely rewrite that scene. I’m not sure how to do that without losing the other elements I’m trying to do with that scene. Rue has more experience and a strategic mind on the battle field. She is not the street brawler Thomas is used to dealing with. That needs to show. I think this scene, on a subconscious level at first, also shows Thomas why his aunt gives him the jobs she does. So again I think there needs to be some follow up scenes that deal with the emotional aftermath rather than change this scene because in the beginning Rue is out of his league.
My final question to myself for today is: given what the main plot is dealing with, do I have enough death and destruction going on in the novel? I feel that I have the right people tied to Thomas dying. That isn’t my issue. We’re talking about a Soul Eater that is ravenous. At any moment he could lose complete control. Would he really be content to eat only a select few or would he consume whomever he felt like as convenient as well? What possible motivation would he have to not do this? I believe I’ve hinted at the answer to these questions already but Thomas never bothers to ask them when I think he should and possibly create a sense of urgency for the reader.
Bleh… just so much to think about and a part of me just wants to start hacking things up right now and dig right in but I still have no idea where to begin real changes exactly.