Before I starting writing novels I used to read the work of others and wonder at the brilliance of their plots. Somewhere near the end I would come across something in the plot that was pointed to much earlier in the work, and I would think, wow, how did he think of that link. And then there were the Red Herrings, the plot points meant to lead the reader astray so that when the plot surprise comes it is a real surprise. Of course I naively thought that the writer had plotted this all out in advance, or had the talent to write along on his first draft and plant the perfect clues, or herrings, along the way. Since writing I have found that this is not the case, as least in my own work, and from what I have read not in the work of most others. Currently I am working on the first draft of, of course, my Work In Progress, otherwise known as a WIP. It should be finished by the last day of this month. At least that is the plan. It is a science fiction novel concerning a man who transports himself by way of nanotechnology in an experiment meant to open up the solar system. His body is disassembled on one end and reassembled on the other from different components. During this process the original is destroyed and the copy is reassembled missing something. Working title is Soulless, which should give you the idea of what was missing. A kind hearted man is turned into a complete psychopath, out for himself and himself alone, with the technical knowledge to make himself a superman and construct an army of supermen. When it is finished it will be put to bed on the hard drive and backups, not to see the light of day for at least a year. This is my normal mode of operation, since a year’s separation makes the manuscript look to my eyes the work of someone else, which I guess it is, since I will have changed some in that year. Currently I am working on rewrite for agent submission of a novel I wrote in 2010, which I processed through a first rewrite in 2011, and is now going through the second and final polishing.
Anyway, while writing soulless I have created new characters later in the book that were needed to fill certain parts (that’s the problem with killing characters off earlier in the book that served those roles). So now I am thinking of new scenes near the beginning that really introduce those characters, while also adding plot points that foreshadow the scenes that I have just written. In one scene I am currently working on I introduce animals that have been remade into killer beasts as a way for the antagonist to escape a situation that would otherwise be inescapable. But I said nothing about killer animals in the past, so now I have to go back and write something that foreshadows them. And on and on, adding maybe ten thousand words to something already completed, so that the plot makes sense all the way through, without introducing a totally unexpected tech or character to the story in a manner that seems artificial, just a way to get out of a corner I have painted a character into. Hopefully when this book comes out, either with a publisher or on the net as a selfpub, people will read it and say, how did he think of that? Or, wow, he foreshadowed that in chapter three. And not realize how I cheated, using my author’s control of time and space in the realm of my work.