Thursday, June 09, 2011

My Novel's Journey: Neeta Lyffe II: Cut that subplot!

Usually when I write, I tend to turn off the internal editor and go with where the characters lead. More often than not, they know the best ways to go.

However, the past couple of weeks in Neeta Lyffe II, that backfired.

I had originally anticipated two big zombie confrontations--one at a casino and one at the nearby oil refinery. The ideas came from talking with my sister and brother in law about the Richmond area. I thought the casino idea was going to be a big hit--lots of potential for fun--like a one-armed bandit now sporting an extra arm. Then Roscoe's lost love, Cameron, showed up as the cross dressing torch singer. Or is Cam the cross-dressing Master of Ceremonies? Even I didn't know. Either way, Cam is a dear and has stolen the show in a couple of scenes.

However, once I got to about 50,000 words and heading to the dual finales, the casino idea became more of an obstacle than an enhancement. There wasn't enough time in Neeta's world to handle both and still make an impact, and the whole juxtaposition of the casino and refinery was taking away from the fun of the refinery. After some deliberation, I took the casino out.

Still it's a fun subplot, so I'm thinking about making it the plot of Neeta III, and since we're going to Reno in August, I'll do research.

Clearing away the subplot--and Cameron with it--created holes, and I spent most of the week filling and revising. On the down side, I'm idling at 52,000 words as I clean this up. On the bright side, Gary Opkast and Sheila (soon to be Opkast) have come in to fill Cameron's place, as has a timid waitress who will find courage when defending her customers against the zombie hoard. It's also given me room to examine the zombie invasion of the refinery. Need a reason, right? How about radical environmentalist zombie terrorism?

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