>Ghostly puppeteer

>Quick status report on the current novel-in-progress. I’m currently at a smidge over 33,000 words, which means I’m running a little behind schedule again.

The thing is, even though I’m working from a detailed outline (this is a ghost-writing project, so I’m putting the flesh on the bones of a plot created by others) I occasionally hit the occasional plotting problem. For example, this morning I happily started work on chapter thirteen. Two thousand words later I’d just about dealt with the action described in the first sentence.

This magical alchemy – converting a single sentence of outline into an entire chapter – is part of the endlessly rewarding and utterly frustrating business of writing to a tight synopsis. Just when you think the whole thing’s mapped out, you realise your main character has no motivation for what he’s about to do, the secondary character who popped up at the end of the last chapter really does need fleshing out if he’s to be anything more than a cipher, and the spooky environment they both find themselves landed in deserves a little descriptive TLC.

That’s why this kind of work is more rewarding than most people think. Ghost I may be, but I really am in control. If I don’t do my job properly, the story I’m telling will have no more life than Pinocchio after his strings have been cut. So you could call me The Ghostly Puppeteer. Hmm. That’s not a bad title for a story …

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