Monday, March 9, 2009

Maybe I should stick to breadcrumb trails

My Dad has an amazing sense of direction. He is one of those people who, it seems, can tell you which way is North by sniffing the air. My Mom has fearsome map-reading skills. Perhaps because it was necessary to balance out the cosmic scales, I have a particular talent for getting lost. 

About a month ago, I made a map for my novel. Not the kind of map that you see in the beginning of an epic fantasy, but a list of things that needed to happen before I got to The End. I was pleased about this, and started checking things off as I worked through the scenes. Then I made a change, and the end of the book exploded in my face.

I don't normally outline when I write. I leave myself notes, which are probably indecipherable to anyone not an oracle or me. For example: "Call Liz -- exsanguination?" "THUNDER!" "Reread The White Devil" "Neil's bloody ravens" and "Eliot or Heaney" are the five most recent. Anyone care to speculate on what the book is about?

I have pieced the bits of story back together, and once again, The End is in sight. I find myself oddly compelled to make a story map, but I fear it would be tempting fate. For now, I think I will cling to the oracular post-its.

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