"Soon I’ll be out of my mind, and you’ll be out of ideas…"

So I was going to dance class today, thinking about plastic. What, you mean you don’t do that? Surely you jest! You lie! *cough* But here’s the thing. I’m doing a steampunk world in Karma Police, and there’s a floating town in the ocean. (Which makes me happy inside, btw.) And because I’m just like that, I need to know why it’s there, and how it’s there. My first thought was, of course, plastic floats! Then I went, uh, wait just one second here, plastic? In steampunk? That doesn’t really sound right, not for the amounts I’d need to float a town...

I will spare the the rest of the stream-of-conciousness wherein I thought about rivets and Kipling, Star Trek, gears, the American Civil War, greasing methods and child labour and submarines and Kipling again and mining and ice caps and fishing and- I’m telling you about it. Anyhow, wow, I love my little town, and I can almost smell it, I know how it works so well. While thinking about this, I realized that the piece of tech that I’m starting out Karma Police with, does not jive with the rest of the story. (If you’re read it, you know what I mean when I say “Harbour Tree.” If you haven’t read it, I’m sorry you missed the benefits of my insanity.) It was semi-organic, and everything else I’m writing is mechanically minded.
This made me sad, because I loved that harbour tree. HOWEVER, before I became too broken-hearted, I realized it actually belongs in my Medusa/Fire/Fantasy/SF/Pick One/War/Children/blindness/SO MUCH SHINY story that keeps hovering behind my head dropping maddening hints. So I squeed over that revelation and nearly walked into the barre at dance. I had everything plot-wise figured out and it was wonderful!
This lasted about ten minutes, till we were talking about costumes. This was when I realized that my plot order for Karma Police is all backwards and knotted, and I narrowly kept from beating my head off the floor.
You see, my plan was to start writing with a big event, throw in some flashbacks to explain why they were there, have a big realization, and then End triumphantly at 50,001 words. That- did not work. I’m currently halfway through the flashbacks, and halfway through the strange little plotlines that insisted on appearing between the Big Event and the Big Realization. One of those is the floating town, actually. *takes a moment to love floating town* My realization was that my story actually is in three parts.
  1. The flashbacks.
  2. The Big Event and the cunning plotlines.
  3. The Big Realization and outfall.
Also, the cunning plotlines are supposed to help with the Big Realization, and I need to research metal working, specifically Ship Building, Zeppelin Design, Hydrogen safety, turn of the century Prisons, Rebellions and Guerilla Warfare, Class Structure, High Schools, Bank Security, Catholic rites for the almost-dead, oh, and gas mining. That’s what I know about now, more will undoubtedly come later.
Remind me again why I ever thought that writing fantasy would be easier than “real world?”
Anyhow. As riveting as I’m sure you found that, I actually have a question for you, my lovely readers! (I know you’re out there, I check my stats occasionally, and some of you even comment. Shocking, I know.) Here it is.

Should I go back now and write out the flashbacks that have revealed themselves to be Part 1, or should I fight on to the end before re-writing?

Part of my brain is saying Never Go Back!!! Resist the urge to edit! Resist! RESIST!!!!!
And part of my brain is saying Wait, you don’t even know why your characters are doing things! Go back, figure out what you’re exiling doing, THEN continue.
I’m not sure which plan is better, so there is the question of the hour.
What do YOU think?

4 thoughts on “"Soon I’ll be out of my mind, and you’ll be out of ideas…"

  1. I love your mind. 😀 And I'm excited to read K.P.

    I figure, since in revision you'll have to rewrite the whole thing anyway, I would just keep going with the rough even if you have no idea what's going on. Answers have a way of popping up while you're writing.

  2. It's tough. I agree with both Bahnree and Spartezda. I guess it depends on how much of a revision you want to inflict upon yourself :).

    Personally, I'd go back and revise. You may want to change the plot completely or even some of the characters after fleshing out the background. Also, it would make it easier then to know how you want your characters and story to develop.

    Good luck 🙂

  3. How about you just write the stuff you want in this so-called 'Part 1', but, instead of going back to put it in BEFORE what you've already written, you can just stick it in wherever you happen to be at this moment? It's not like you don't skip merrily back and forth through space and time already.

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