Friday, June 30, 2006


Character Fusion/Character Fission

Very, very late in the preproduction stage of Paragaea, only days before I started writing, I realized that two characters in my outline were in fact the same character, and that combining them solved all sorts of problems with the narrative, as well as adding a nice bit of thematic tension to a couple of scenes. What surprised me, though, was that I hadn't seen it previously, since in hindsight it was blindingly obvious. If it had been a snake, it would have bit me.

Well, this morning, I made a very similar realization about End of the Century, the next in the Bonaventure-Carmody sequence, which I'll be writing this fall. The difference is that this time I realized that one character was in fact two characters. And that by splitting them into two I solved some pretty substantial difficulties I was having with the plot, and had a character ready to slot into a bit of backstory that desperately needed one. What's odd about this instance is that this is something that's been nagging me for weeks, a persistent buzz at the back of my head, that I've been steadfastly ignoring, certain that it was a horrible idea. But while Georgia had her breakfast I figured I'd jot it down in my Moleskine, on the off-chance that it might prove a useful notion further down the line. And as I was writing what I was sure was a dead-end notion, it became suddenly and inescapably clear that it was in fact already true, and that there was no going back.

I'm sure none of this makes the slightest bit of sense to anyone but me. Heck, I'm not sure it makes any sense to me.

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