Monday, November 17, 2008

Diagramming Darger and Surplus

Well, here it is, the distinguished thing.  You'll notice that it's more complicated than most of my diagrams.  That's because this novel is a lot more complicated than my previous ones.  Darger and Surplus are con men, see, so they lead less straightforward lives than most protagonists do.  Meanwhile, what's happening to them is pretty damn complicated in its own right.

The important things to notice in the diagram are the two vertical lines dividing it into three.  After drawing it all out, I immediately saw (as I presume you do too) that it's way too complicated for one chapter.  So everything to the left of the first line went into the preceding chapter and everything to the right line will go into the next one.

And it works!  How do I know?  Well, the added material bought the preceding chapter up to twenty pages.  Which is, you'll recall, the standard length for one of my chapters.

Q. E. D.

And as always . . .

Poem du Jour has been updated.  Yesterday:  high-level literary doodling.  Be there or be square!



Pebble Texture said...

Are we flogging Surplus now? Because, you know, that's what one usually does with surplus.

Michael Swanwick said...

Heh. Good one.

No, the actual promotion of the still-unnamed novel will have to wait until it's done. At which point I'll probably close this blog and start a new one -- something that doesn't sound like a behind-the-scenes look at the B&D world. And then I'll run all the diagrams, cleaned up and annotated.

What struck me about this one, though, was that when I drew it out, I saw why this chapter was so difficult to write. I had just too damned much stuff happening all at once.

Which, of course, is the normal condition whenever Darger and Surplus are around.

Pebble Texture said...

Spieling Surplus?
Drumming Darger?
Kiting Conversing Canines?

I am looking forward to it! In the meantime I'll content myself with reading Dragons a second time.