Chapter 8.5

As I’ve been writing Finnegans Afoot, I realized somewhere along the way that I needed a chapter inserted in a section I had long since finished. (I’ve mentioned this in earlier posts.)

I started work on that chapter yesterday, and I was delighted to find that I managed to squeeze more than a thousand words out of my brain in one sitting. The chapter has two important tasks. One deals with plot. I need to establish an event that will be brought up in the climax. The other deals with tone. I need to inject a bit of tension at this point of the story.

While doing this, I’m finding plenty of room for presenting a bit more depth and range to my characters. I’ve read on other blogs and in those many how-to-write-fiction articles that nothing belongs in a story that doesn’t advance the plot. I think this is misguided because there is more to a story than merely the plot.

I want my characters to be regular people, the kind of people that a reader can identify with. I have no trouble with fantasy or science fiction or noir, but the characters in these stories must be credible (in their context, of course) or I’m not going to sustain my interest. If I use this retro chapter to help make my characters credible (and accessible) then I think I have advanced the story, even if some of it doesn’t really advance the plot.

I have asserted that half of a story is in the telling. Sometimes plot can be almost a secondary thing.

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