Progress Update and Some Random Thoughts

Progress Update and Some Random Thoughts

Just checking in.  Dream Child is at almost 29,000 words now (on chapter six out of 16).  I’m also going back over Dream doctor – I’ve been through four chapters so far.

Also, in writing yesterday’s post about the Mark Helprin book, I realized something.  I’m very much a plot-centric reader, and I think writer as well.  There’s nothing that ruins a story for me more than a plot that just doesn’t make sense.  Especially when it doesn’t make sense within the world that the author has set up.

For example: I watched the pilot episode of the new submarine drama “Last Resort.”  The premise is that an American missile submarine gets a questionable order to launch its nuclear missiles at Pakistan, coming in over the emergency channel that’s only supposed to be used if the chain of command has been completely wiped out. But the U.S. isn’t at war with Pakistan, and when the sub’s commander tries to get some news, he finds that America is still in one piece, and Washington hasn’t been destroyed.  So he radios in for confirmation of the order.

For his trouble he’s relieved of command.  When his XO also refuses the order, another American sub is sent in to kill them – and then that same sub carries out the illegal order and nukes Karachi and three other Pakistani cities.

But after that, and for the next three episodes, there’s seemingly no fallout (excuse the pun) from that act.  America has, apparently without provocation, used multiple nuclear weapons on another country, and killed several million people.  That’s a world-changing event.  There would not be business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. (or anywhere else in the world, probably) after such an act.  And yet, within the show, business in the nation’s capital is very usual.

That’s the kind of disbelief I can’t suspend.  No matter how compelling the characters are, or how cool the action is, or anything else, with a plot oversight that big, they’ve lost me.

Of course, I tend to overcompensate for this in my writing, and explain every little thing, leaving no dangling strings, even when maybe some of them ought to be allowed to dangle a bit.

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