I’ve talked about plotbombs before, and how they sometimes dump 1-2 chapters on me without warning, exploding all through the plot and making some things clear while making other things change.
Well, this morning I woke up with a bad cramp in one leg and a plotbomb of enormous size, for much later in the long-story arc. Even as I tried to get the cramp out, chapters’ worth of stuff was flooding my mind…as if, let’s say, a poor little phone modem suddenly found itsself plugged into a T-1 line with a terabyte of data to deliver. There was no way to get it all down (besides the fact that I couldn’t get out of bed until the leg unkinked) though I’ve since jotted down as much as I can remember–nearly all the dialogue faded quickly (but I can write something as good, I’ll bet), and the intermediate details between the big events, but I’m guessing the plotbomb covered half to all of the final book.
And it’s at least an entire book away from where I’m working in Book III–Plot Daemon jumped over all that and threw the end of the story at me. (I think it’s clear who won the Plot Daemon/Set Designer argument. And yet, the plotbomb came with full multi-sensory input–sight, sound, smell, tactile, emotional, all levels of plot interaction–deep logic to the tipmost top of POV’s sensory details.) It was a rush getting that much at once, but scary because I knew I’d lose a lot of it…all that’s “down” in a file is a page and a half, single-spaced, and almost telegraphic.
I was SO right to spend some hours in Palo Duro Canyon and also right not to spend too long there. (I want to go back as pure tourist, I think, but for this story–which drove me to visit it–what I needed is what I got in that first impression and some hours in the bottom of it.)
The take-away message, now that Plot Daemon has stomped back down to his engine room, pipe wrench jauntily over his shoulder, is “Trust your Plot Daemon and don’t dally with Set Designer.” O….kay. Got that. (Smug sort of snort from belowdecks.)
Fingers on the keyboard. Plot-engines below coming up to full power.