Snake: Understanding Why They Did That

Posted: May 7, 2013 in Novel, Writing
Tags: , , ,

I’ve been meaning to write this post for two days, but Sunday was nuts, and Monday wasn’t much better (though I did see Iron Man 3). In any case, I wanted to talk about something I noticed while working on Chapter 47 of Snake. In that chapter, the Snake gains an unlikely ally, and she goes out of her way to help him escape from the police. As I was looking over the chapter, I was puzzled by some of the things I was reading. I couldn’t figure out why I had written a character doing or acting a certain way, so I had to go back and explain in detail why the character had taken that action. As I did this, I realized something: this wasn’t the first time I’d done this.

I have this bad habit sometimes with my writing. I’ll forget that unlike me, my readers don’t know everything about the story or the characters. So what makes sense to me won’t make sense to the readers because they don’t know the same things I know. What’s worse is I sometimes do this with my characters as well: I’ll have my characters think about what a character did or is doing right now, not realizing that I hadn’t planned on revealing that until later, so it’s weird that the character should know that.

I’m sure this has happened to all writers, but it’s still embarrassingĀ  for me (and I’m sure for many others) when it happens. In fact, while writing this post I realized another moment in that same chapter that I have to fix up because of one of these instances occurs there and I totally didn’t realize it until just now. I hate having to admit it, but it’s true, so as soon as possible I’ll get into that chapter and fix that little problem up.

I guess the important thing is not to let these moments bog you down or make you think you’re a terrible writer. Just go back, fix it up, and try to keep these instances in mind so you don’t repeat them in the future. That’s what I’m going to do, anyway.

Has this ever happened to you? How do you feel about it?

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  2. segmation says:

    Keep on rolling and make it a great day ! That is what I think!

  3. K. Jean King says:

    I have mostly found that I have this problem with editing. My first draft is usually all right, insofar as the characters knowing what they are supposed to know and only revealing or reacting in appropriate ways. The problems is that first drafts suck. So I edit. Then usually when I edit I end up rearranging things and not realizing that things are no longer streamline.

    For example, I have been working on a novel, and in the second chapter a character is introduced looking out the window for something. After the edits, she wasn’t made aware she should be looking for said thing until the end of the chapter. So…she’s now introduced looking out a window for something she has no knowledge of. WINNER.

    It’s really hard to keep everything in line the way you intend it to be. It becomes even more complicated the more characters you have. And I think it becomes even more complicated the more you edit. While editing is necessary, sometimes, at least for me, it confuses for me my timelines. Or maybe I can’t remember what I changed and what I didn’t, or which version ended up in the final cut. It’s exhausting.

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