Wild Coincidence or Dastardly Plot?

Posted on 03/12/2012 by


While writing Wizards I keep looking back at Path trying to find similarities, differences, to see where my writing has improved or just changed. Some of those are very clear, and then other things I see and haven’t the faintest idea what it means.

Like — my opening paragraphs are getting shorter. The first paragraph of SETHD is 101 words. The first paragraph of TRTH is 63 words. The first paragraph of RON is 43 words. And Wizards begins with a paragraph that’s a grand total of 15 words long. Two of which are ‘And then’.

I’m not sure if that’s evidence that the openings are becoming more alarming, or just that everyone starts drinking earlier.

I want to draw conclusions like the plot of each successive book moves faster, or I am becoming more economical with my word use, but I think it’s likely that the true conclusion to be drawn from this is: It’s a wild coincidence!

But I wonder about it anyway. Because those aren’t choices I make, they’re just things I’ve done without thinking about it. Afterwards I can say things like, “Oh yes, the shorter chapters toward the end of the book make the pace of the story seem faster.” But it’s not like I ever sat down and thought, Welp, the rest of these need to be shorter on account of pace. I just wrote and they turned out that way.

Sometimes I wonder what my brain is up to that it’s not telling me about. I mean, in August I checked on the balance of the two main characters of Wizards, just making sure they were sharing equal screen time and found that there was less than a hundred words between them, which I thought was pretty cool. I checked again a couple of days ago and there were all of 43 words difference between the two of them. I’m not doing that. But apparently some part of my brain is.