Plot Bombs

Posted: March 13th, 2009 under Contents, the writing life.
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Those of you reading my LJ last year (before this blog existed) may remember the series of plot bombs that landed on me in the last third of the book.

Plot bombs are events/characters/situations that I didn’t anticipate and that propagate new plot and lots of words all of a sudden.  They disrupt my train of thought and break things open.   But, being creative and not truly destructive, plot bombs are always–well, almost nearly always completely–right.

The first true plot bomb of the second volume exploded in my head this morning.

It might be more accurate to say that a buried plot bomb erupted from below…I knew back in the first book that [censored: stuff I can’t mention without spoilers] was going to connect to Paks II and be important.   The true nature and importance of the Censored Stuff has been revealed, layer by layer, through the rest of book one and the earlier parts of book two.   I thought it would be nicely laid out from here.

Well…no.  Not exactly.   This morning, in the midst of writing a scene with the Duke of Immer,  the plot bomb burst and I had to drop that and start a new file.    It started quietly enough,  more quietly than usual for a plot bomb,  though a bit startling as I’d never seen a gnome wearing anything but gray, or talking to a dwarf, and they were chatting along in their own language (which appears in my head as ordinary speech, since my plot daemon knows I have no gift for languages.)   Chatting and arguing–and I’m wondering why is that gnome wearing colors?    Because not all dwarves are dwarves.   (Lightbulb moment, but not the plotbomb)   “Everyone” knows that dwarves and gnomes, though both rockfolk, are not friendly to each other.   Everyone knows gnomes wear gray and have no beards.  Everyone knows dwarves like bright colors and have beards.   Yup.  Those beardless dwarf  “youths” occasionally seen with their “fathers” and “uncles?”   Not dwarves.

But that was only the lightbulb within the plotbomb.  Things really went wild when the next person showed up at the table.   Urbane, suave, dressed in black, knows Paks, once gave her a costly present.  Yup.  Arvid Semminson.

The plot bomb is galloping away, bit in its teeth.  I’d better hop back in the saddle and find out where we’re going.

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