Friday, April 20, 2018

When The Unexpected Happens

As I write this post, I'm working on "The Taking of Gabriella Robin". Recently I hit upon something that writers encounter sooner or later in their work: the Unexpected Event. You've likely heard of these things before, where some writer talks about how they got into a fix or know that the story's got an issue and suddenly a character steps up and says or does something that resolves the issue so the narrative continues.

That happened to me, again. In putting this story together, I recalled that I need to address a problem with my master villain; it does not help to make him seem unconvincingly potent, as a sort of villainous Gary Stu, for the same reason that heroic Stus and Sues routinely wreck stories where they are present. So when I hit on a snag at the conclusion of Act One, the master villain stepped out and took a big risk to cut through that snag like the proverbial Gordian Knot.

I can only get this specific without spoiling things: he intervenes, in a deniable fashion, to stop the hero from rescuing the damsel at a critical moment at Act One's climax. The damsel is the only one who clearly witnesses the master villain's treachery, as she is in the only position to see the deed done at all, after which she's stolen away and cannot gainsay the villain's statement on the matter.

This has had cascading consequences. Now the master villain needs to cover up his actions, which will drive him to escalate his plans and pressure his henchmen accordingly, and it opens up an option I hadn't considered previously for advancing the plot to that satisfying conclusion I know the reader wants. As Bob Ross would say, it's a happy accident, and I am grateful for it. I'm liking how this unexpected change is turning out, and I think you will too when I'm done. No Pulp Speedster am I, yet, but it will be done.