Thinking on the right side of the lane


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Years ago the Australian version of the Department of Motor Vehicles installed a series of signs that read “SLOW VEHICLES USE LEFT LANE”.

Unfortunately nobody wanted to be seen as the slow car so everyone stayed in the right lane, leaving the left lane for only the slowest vehicles. Then some bright spark changed the words.

The signs were replaced with the words “KEEP LEFT UNLESS OVERTAKING” and now everyone uses the left lane.

The right words make such a difference.

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What a mess.


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One of the greatest criticisms of my first book I SPIDER is that it’s a bit ‘all over the place’. I think it actually enhances the story because the story is written as the ramblings of a mad man.
Unfortunately, my second book is shaping up to be just as ‘all over the place’ and is structurally a lot more complicated. I’m about 40,000 words in and after vomiting all of my initial thoughts out it’s time to try and create some structure.
It’s a fairly simple structure, I have a Protagonist and an Antagonist and I see their stories running simultaneously (a chapter of the good guy then a chapter of the bad guy). Using this method I will probably compare their lives; good guy looks after mother when she’s sick, bad guy kills mother with a tyre iron.
But then the whole thing starts to get complicated. I have a character that disappears from the book about half way through and then reappears in the climax or the third act. So in the middle of the crescendo and while I’ve got the reader dying to find out what happens next I’m going to tell a whole bunch of back story about what the character that disappeared has been up to.
Even this would be pretty easy if I had written the book chronologically, but I have this terrible habit of putting a character in a situation, lets say a cabin, and while they are in the cabin I tell part of the back story of the cabin. So even the bits that I’m chopping up are in bits.
Above is a photo of the book cut into chapters, a Protagonist pile and an Antagonist pile. Also there’s a photo of two sets of cards each one representing a chapter in the book. I’m going to change the order of the chapters and then I’ll start filling in the holes in the story.
Wish me luck.