Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Technical Challenges

I've been working on Heaven And Hell, and things have been going well. With the research done and over with, the narrative really has a momentum of its own.

For the most part, I'm writing in order, though I have in the past jumped out and wrote passages that were ahead of where I actually am. A passage featuring the President of the United States reacting to the crisis overseas is one such example.

There are a couple of passages from later in the book that I know I must write when I reach their place in the book. No jumping ahead. One is a speech, given on TV. It has to be held off until I reach it.

The second is, in effect, the central event of the book. Without going into detail (I am not giving away the plot, so don't ask!) everything before this leads to the event; everything afterwards is a reaction to it. And it's big. I've been thinking about it for awhile, about the technical aspects of it.  I'm going to have to write it in a descriptive way, as thorough as I feel it needs.

Of course, there's a line where you cross from being descriptive to coming across as if you're teaching a lesson. Tom Clancy does this all the time. He stops in the middle of a narrative and lectures on precisely how a missile works, or a UAV, or where an item was built. He once spent a whole chapter describing a nuclear bomb going off.

Obviously that's not the way I want to go. No disrespect to Clancy; I like his novels, but there are times I feel the need to skim through that over-description.

When I come to it, I imagine I'll find myself at a point where I know that enough's enough. No need to go too in depth in the specifics of what'll transpire, after all.  And no need to give away anything that might resemble a plot point.

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