Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reverse Plotting

The first book I ever tried to reverse plot was "Heir to the Empire" (Timothy Zahn), and the subsequent series of two books "Dark Force Rising" and "The Last Command". The results were telling.

I started the reverse plot because I could never figure out how exactly one of the characters (in this case Luke Skywalker) happened to be on the same planet as all the other characters at the same time as an Imperial attack. Lando Calrissian lived there, and Han and Leia were there for some well-established reason or another which I can't recall at the moment.

It turned out that the reason Luke came to the planet was he found some device and R2D2 mentioned that he had seen Lando with a similar device. That's it*. It's so tenuous that it's almost a throwaway line, but it works. That's how the entire series is organized.

What that tells me is that I don't need to worry too much about the Middle as long as the Beginning and End work. There are two advantages to this: (1) I write faster when I'm not agonizing about stringing stuff together, and (2) I feel free to Get On With It. The reason it was tenuous is that Mr. Zahn knew that, for this story, nobody would care how Luke got there so much as what he did when he did. Bogging down the story with a complicated detective scene wouldn't have been very interesting.

So that's why I'm going to stop worrying and love the handwave. This is not the plot you're looking for.

*Nerd Bonus, though. 10 years and ~billion Star Wars books later he tied it all together.


Ha! I don't know what's going on here, but I like it. I still find it hard to believe that we, citizens of the future, do not have cities of the future to live in.

We keep spending all our money on blowing shit up.

1000 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long to Die"
Short Story "Science Up Some Love"
- - - -
Reading - ?


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