Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Plotline Conundrum

I haven't written a word today.
On purpose.

I decided I needed a short brain break.  I think I literally see smoke pouring out my ears.  My brain keeps crying like a sad puppy, just wanting a yummy bone and a nap.  So, I threw it the bone today, and let it rest.

From the actual writing that is.
It doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it in major OCD-mode.

I have come across a plot issue I am trying to decide on.  And would love some input.  If you want to give me some...of any kind...do read on.

Ok.  So I am about 53,000 words in, give/take.  That's a good chunk.  (Typically publishers prefer a first-time author to have about 70k... or so)  I have already spent much time on different spots of the story (in prison, release, her work after release, etc), and am now nearing the climax.  The issue is, part of my pre-planned plot was that the main characters (Millie/Reed/Eddie...shall we call them MRE for this post?) were going to come across another group who was traveling towards the same destination, and join up with them.  I even have already planned the group, their back stories, all of that.  I love the characters.

But is it too much?

I am almost feeling like adding in this new group, on top of MRE, will be over kill for this story line.  I do not want it to drag on.  I want it to be amazing.  Don't all writers? (Haha)  So what do I do?  Do I still write them in, and hope that it isn't too much?  Or follow this gut feeling that now isn't the time for this group?  (Cool thought...let's say people like this novel, and I do a sequel, which I already have ideas for...I could totally bring them in then. Hm...)

What do you like when you read?  Do you like when new characters are thrown in at the end, or do you just want to keep focus on the few you have gotten to know all these pages? 

...discuss??

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

No new characters thrown in at the end! It reeks of poor plotting on the author's part. Is there a character mentioned earlier and/or in passing that has yet to be seen? This could be a good time for them to appear.

Also: kinda funny, wholly related:
Famous Authors' NaNoWriMo Tips (as found on twitter)
http://inkwellbookstore.blogspot.com/2009/11/famous-authors-nanowrimo-tips-as-found.html

Jenni Merritt said...

I did mention this group in passing earlier in the story, but it is something I could easily cut out...

Your Tiger said...

I must concur with Anonymous in the poor plotting aspect of his/her argument. It would be nice, but it would also be nice to let the main characters have the limelight they've earned by following/leading you these 53,000 words (I know sometimes they follow and sometimes they lead). I say DEFINITELY go with the gut and don't go into it. It will strengthen your relationships with the main characters and make them that much more believable. It's too easy to get into the habit of making character groups full of the stereotypes and having less than a group is still refreshing these days. :-) Think of Harry, Hermione and Ron! You're loved and I'm glad you took a break.

Jenni Merritt said...

thanks Tiger! I feel bad because I did have them plotted in, but then the first half kind of took control and went in a slightly different direction I had planned. Talk about writing itself :)

Harry, Ron, and Hermione...I love it! I am watching Order of the Phoenix right at this very moment in fact :)

Riley Carson said...

I hate characters thrown in the end! I never get to know them, and I feel it's about as appealing as having a huge climactic scene and then.. poof! Main character wakes up and it was all a dream.

I have huge issues with it. I say follow your instincts because your instincts, as a writer, are usually right.

Elizabeth Schubert said...

I don't agree at all with the previous commenters. I don't think that putting in new characters reeks of poor plotting and it goes to show how ignorant some people can be. I have read some god-awful books that have done it, but it's always been half assed. Some of my favorite books toss in a couple characters just before the climax of the book and I've found it really works because those characters serve a purpose. I do agree, however, with going with your gut. If you don't think it's time for these new guys, go with it. If by not adding them, it doesn't turn out how you wanted, italicize!
And as for your comment on MY blog...I meant "shut up" as in, on't brag about your incredible word count XD

Kim Switzer said...

If the new characters are necessary for the climax, add them in a bit before. Adding in new characters after the climax, when things should be starting to wind toward the ending, can get messy. At that point, you really shouldn't be introducing new major elements. That's basic story structure, and that's probably what your gut is telling you because our guts know story even when our conscious minds aren't sure about it. Follow your instincts! :)

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