University is done so I’m free to write once more, my computer is running nicely, and I’m full of ideas. “So what’s the problem?” I hear you ask. Well… remember that blog entry I recently did about a certain ‘whale’ I had to let get away… (For those who missed that entry here’s the link: https://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/the-tale-of-the-whale-who-got-away/ ). Well, I’m finding myself in the same position once again. And since it’s happening in the here and now, I thought I’d share my thought processes and reasoning with you all, in the hopes it might help you should you find yourself in a similar dilemma.
So I stand at a crossroads, trying to weigh my options about whether or not to cut a scene I truly love and think is totally amazing? I have this wonderful scene where one of my four lead characters is involved in a wreck down in the subway tunnels of New York City. She was targeted by a mysterious stalker who has been following her through “The Bridge” and “The Ship” and is now finally making his move. But even after slaughtering an entire train of people, he manages to incapacitate her only to lose her to a mysterious ‘carnival troupe’ whose old-fashioned train and cars are somehow appears on the scene inside those same subway tunnels. Driven off before he can take his prize, the mysterious folks of the ‘carnival’ take his prey to safety under the watchful eye of the girl’s ghostly ancestor. Sounds great right? Plus it raises so many questions like “Why would an old-fashioned circus train (without animals) be traveling on the subway lines in the first place?” Furthermore, we would’ve seen these strange folks who look more like relics from an old-fashioned “Freak Show” demonstrate unusual abilities and talents.
So why would I want to remove such a powerful and intriguing scene? Because this would be the only time they show up in the book. I didn’t have anything else for them to do later on. Furthermore, they would not show up again until 2-3 books from now. What good would that do my audience? I’d be leaving everyone hanging and I don’t like that idea. Oh I could easily beef up their role and have them reappear several times in this book, working behind the scenes to aid our heroes, but it would wind up being a more complicated story to follow, unless I was very careful.
That is one path at this crossroads that I could follow. The other path, would lead directly into my next novel “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”. How would this happen you may ask. The answer is simple. Last December, I wrote a short story in my other blog “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition”. It was a six part story (I prefer to use small installments on blogs) which added up to a novelette which I may release one day down the road. Within that story I took several characters who appear in my first two books (namely Veronica, Julie, Roy and Julie’s uncle Jason) and set the clock back some fifteen years ago. In that story they met two men who aided them in finding a very young Julie who had become lost in a snowstorm and was menaced by a strange creature. One of the two men was Nathaniel Steward, my vampyre, who as you all know will have his own book coming out this December. Since he is already known to several of the characters in “The Door”, I started thinking about introducing him in this novel to play a supporting role to my heroes. This made more and more sense to me since I could see him helping from the shadows at times, as well as having a scene in the epilogue which would lead him directly into his own story. This is something I’ve done in the previous two books. I always have a plot that leads directly into the next book, so this idea makes more and more sense to me.
However if I used Nathaniel it would mean…
…cutting the train scene beneath the streets of New York City.
Why is this so hard? Because I put so much research into laying that scene out. I checked time tables, routes, where the nearest hospital would be in relation to where I had the action taking place… the works. Yet, try as I might, I could never reconcile those mysterious carnival people with the rest of the story.
You see, I actually started “The Door” two years ago BEFORE I started “The Ship”. However, I kept running up against problem after problem with the story. Which was why I put it aside and decided to explore what happened to Cassie and Julie over in Santa Cruz. That story came fast and easy by comparison and produced good results. But even after coming back to “The Door” with a whole new load of information from what happened in “The Ship”, I still couldn’t really see a clear path forward.
But then I thought of Nathaniel and things seem to be clicking into place. Not everything is perfect mind you. By adding him in I have to create entire new scenes, but I feel like the road is a little more clear for where the story should go.
As you can tell, I’ve pretty much made up my mind where I’m going. It’s just really hard to let go of that “train wreck scene”. But I’m going to anyway. I thought about combining Nathaniel and the carnival people, and have him appear on board that mysterious train, but his presence there is too much of a coincidence. It makes more sense to have him appear at Jason’s old house since he has a history with the deceased and has come to pay his respects. Plus it gives me more room to have him interact with Julie who has known him since she was little and is now wondering why he hasn’t aged at all in fifteen years. Will she learn the truth that her late uncle knew about Nathan’s true nature? If she does how will she react to this revelation? And what part will he play in this story before all is said and done? You’ll have to wait and see.
And for that matter so will I. The thing about writing is sometimes there’s not a road or path before us. So we writers have to make one ourselves, one that is right for us and our creations, which makes the journey so much more interesting. So until next time, take care of yourselves and keep creating those roads that have not yet been traveled my friends.
P. S. : If any of you missed that short story involving Nathan, Julie, Jason, Veronica and Roy, here’s the links: