I’ve been struggling with the next step in Ghostlight for a little while now, and it occurred to me as I rode up the elevator to my apartment today why that is. I don’t have a subplot!
Not entirely accurate. I do, but the subplot of the romantic entanglement has gotten tied into the main plot, which has indisposed the romantic interest, Jesse, for about 24 hours. So that can’t go anywhere. The other subplot, what happened to Graham three years ago, is a long-term subplot that won’t be getting resolved anytime soon. So I need a new subplot to work into the story. Fortunately I think I’ve got a way to get one out of some already-existing events and characters.
But also, I’m trying to navigate the shifting tones of the book–on the one hand, there’s supernatural creepiness and murders and ghosts, and on the other, my main characters are still all high schoolers. Those can be done together with great success–Buffy, Vampire Diaries, the list goes on–but it’s a little harder sometimes to have them not feel like they’re clashing. Right now, I feel like they are. The one is so very different from the other, and I’m getting into the first chunk of scenes in a row of Bette actually at the high school for the purpose of going to class. And I feel like some of my characters are flat right now.
Of course, I’m also trying to push through and just keep going instead of getting stuck circling this one point in the narrative instead. Keep going when you’ve got writer’s block, right? But I can get kind of obsessed about a detail if it’s not perfect. Not always a helpful trait!
I’ve gotten this far, though, and I’m taking that as a good sign. I can get this far, I must be able to get further.
Having a subplot will help, though.