Friday, April 20, 2012

The View From Page 140

I got back to work yesterday, and will get back to work today after I play a few more hands of FreeCell.

Better that than go through a few more boxes of tissues.

I'm pleased to say that on Page 140 (practically Page 141, since most of Page 140 is written) the only dead characters are unnamed extras. My guess is that by Page 150, quite a number of those unnamed characters will never have a chance to be named. I'm sure if they existed their families would know who they were. Unless I killed off their families as well.

Once I start killing off unnamed characters, it's hard for me to stop.

One of the bi-products of lying in bed and sneezing is that I have time to think about the as yet unwritten pages and what might happen in them. For the most part I know what's coming (and who's going), but that doesn't prevent my brain from thinking things out even more. The other morning I woke up at 5 AM with a scene on my mind, and although I'm sure I fell back asleep, all I seem to have dreamed was that scene, so maybe I didn't fall back asleep at all.

During an in bed sneezing stretch, I was thinking about who was going to live and who was going to die, and suddenly I considered the possibility of killing off one of the named characters on the list to the right. Someone who I'd never considered killing off. Someone people might actually be upset about if I killed off that someone.

The super great advantage of killing off that character is it would allow me to write a scene where things got explained with even a touch of resolution. Well, emotional resolution. I'm not great at story resolution, because if I were, I wouldn't be trying for the umpteenth time to write a fourth moon book just to answer all those unresolved questions from the first three.

But a little emotional resolution would be nice. Even if people got upset. I mean, for all I know, people are going to get upset over all those lovely unnamed corpses I have littering Pages 138-40 and beyond.

My plan is to work work work, and then work some more, and try to get the first draft finished before I go to Washington D.C. next weekend. Since I know just about everything that's going to happen, finishing should be doable. And then I'll know who lives and who dies and what their names are and I won't have to think about it anymore.

Of course the alternative is to play some more FreeCell. Thanks to the wonders of cheating, my winning streak is pushing 900.

Hmm... Do I aim for 1000 or do I kill off some more characters? What a jolly dilemma to have!


Emily said...

I love reading your thoughts as you are writing. I am so hecka excited to read the book!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Emily-

I'm on page 148 and there are lots and lots of bodies (all anonymous).

I've done enough slaughtering for the day. Tomorrow I'll go back and slaughter some more!

Nina said...

The anticipatory glee that I get from hearing about your work on this is almost too much!

I can't tell you how many people come into the middle school and high school libraries questioning me about another book in the series :*)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thanks Nina.

It's been fun working on the book. After I finish it, the next step will be seeing if the publisher wants it!