24 June 2007

More Conflict Please

The scene brief pre-draft technique is working really well. More accurately, the story for ‘Ark of Knowledge’ is not working, but this is readily apparent through the scene brief. I’ve filled in most of the scenes for the first third and last third of the story. I currently have 40 closely written pages of scene notes. The brief gives me the freedom to introduce great ideas and develop characters, but is spares enough to allow me to easily backfill plot points and clearly see how the story is developing.

The middle scenes, however, are causing a lot of headaches. The route of the problem is that the main villain, the enigmatic Professor Hertzegovny, is neither enigmatic nor villainous. In fact, she is being remarkably co-operative at the moment. What I need is more conflict: the scene brief is far too sparse on conflict. I haven’t yet reached the conflict with Loren, what I need at this stage is more conflict from Aurora and Prof. H. or someone else. Ian McEwan, in his recent novel Beaches, manages to get conflict into every page. I doubt if I can achieve anything like that, but I should at least manage some action and some conflict in each scene.

So, do I introduce a new villain, beef up Prof. H. or beef up some other character, like Rufus Dracon? Can I have both Mervyn and Dracon running about a mystery spaceship at the same time? Somehow I doubt if that would work, unless he is in league with Prof. H. Time to analyse the scene brief again.

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