Post-NaNo Update: Concrete Examples

Well, someone I once wryly told could take 400 words to get through a door has free license to laugh and mock, because I have taken more than 500 words to deal with a sidewalk.

…It’s a very distinctive sidewalk.  😉

No, seriously, it is.

Rosendale cement.

Fort Jefferson down in the Dry Tortugas was built using this stuff, and it’s still in amazingly good shape today. I figured some very old sidewalks in a fictional port town might well have used it. Besides, Late Silurian dolostone – tell me rock from the age of sea scorpions doesn’t fit a fantasy with a Lovecraftian bent. Not to mention the millipedes, crinoids, and tentaculitoids.

(Just the name on that last one….)

And the details involved in this particular sidewalk are important, because it’s one main character’s second-to-last Big Clue that lets them finally figure out a big piece of something seriously wrong in the whole mess. Not to do with the villain, but with one of the hero’s allies.

That sidewalk is going to lead to some painful honesty, and our poor apprentice detective realizing that a whole bunch of people have been misreading what they’re dealing with.

Of course, later he’ll find out things are even stranger than he thought… but one reveal at a time. 😉


5 thoughts on “Post-NaNo Update: Concrete Examples

  1. Clues Are Important.

    Or at least they can be. If you can just find a bit of sky or a corner piece . . . sorry, just finished re-reading Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett . . . Vimes was getting somewhat frustrated with Clues.

    Of course, later he’ll find out things are even stranger than he thought… but one reveal at a time.

    Don’t want to overwhelm everyone. Including the readers. Because you don’t want them back-flipping through the pages going “When the heck did that happen? . . . . Oh right in that tangled mess with three OTHER plot-important reveals . . .”

    And sometimes if you do too many of them in one scene, you start adding your own da-DUN after each one . . . and not in a good way. Like it starts to feel over-dramatic but with none of the fun of glorious cheese.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Clarity. That is something I need. I like complexity. I have trouble explaining it even when I fully understand and am working in my best format. A viewpoint character necessarily has limited knowledge, especially in a chaotic situation where they are discovering new things. If I need them to discover something about the situation that no one else has, how do I keep the reader following? Especially if I’ve created a new thing so they cannot apply things they already know? Careful explanations, clear simple language.

      Confusion is easy.


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