Complications Ensue:
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Monday, December 20, 2004


We have mostly given up any effort to get "things" done during the weekend. Hunter will mostly take care of himself if allowed to play computer games -- he can disappear into the Playstation or into the excellent city-building game Stronghold for as many hours as we'll let him. But Jesse, adorable child that she is, wants attention, and you can't really ignore an 11-month-old and tell her to go play with her toys. She makes the Bad Noise if you do.

I suppose I could have selfishly disappeared into the bedroom, but what I've been needing is to work out the quest sequence in Unseen. Once Rebecca convinces Vashti and Robert to help her find her mom, she searches for clues to where Mom might have been taken. I had been thinking of that sequence as more or less the second act, but it turned out to be 11 pages. (This is one reason why I mistrust Three Act Structure. Does Act Two begin when Rebecca "dies"? When Mom's kidnapped? When Rebecca meets Whisky Jack? None of which will mean much to you, Dear Reader, except that the above events are scattered over some forty or fifty pages, and any one would qualify for First Act Turning Point if you were applying Syd Field robotically.)

It's an irony of story telling that something can be boring if it's too short. This is what I had here. The quest sequence was not complicated enough. Rebecca finds a takeout bag, which leads her to an apartment, where she finds a key, which leads her to a door. Pat-a-pi, pat-a-pom. Too simple, too straightforward. Nothing to really thrill. No red herrings, no twists, no mistakes, no turns. At 11 pages this sequence was muchtooshort.

With a lot of help from Lisa, and a lot of grumping from Yours Truly, there's now one more scene in this sequence, one dead end, a dead body, a creepy revelation about Mom, a chase and ... they wind up in the same place. It might add no more than 5 pages but they should but much less "talky" and much more thrilling pages.

So that's my job for today.


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