Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pagan Cross-Stitching and Other Thoughts

Well, I've hit another snag in my novel, and I'm not sure how to unravel it. My heroine was kidnapped, out cold for three days, and now she wakes up in Book Three in a nice safe hospital bed. Lots of stuff happened in those three days, but since this novel is primarily in her point of view, and it's important she gets up to speed quickly, I've got to review the last few days.

This is hard to do without it sounding like a soap opera summary. ("This week, Donna confessed to Paul, Fred hit Lana with his car, Myrna told Jeff the baby was Troy's, when it was really Walter's, Diane took up pagan cross-stitching and Brianna confronted her demon-possessed stepmother Janel, who stole her math homework to complete a sick Satanic ritual.)

All my attempts sound like that ridiculous bedside scene in "The Fellowship of the Ring," where a desperately wounded Frodo is running from the Ringwraiths, then wakes up in bed on a sunny morning. Gandalf the wizard then rambles on for pages and pages, getting Frodo up to date on everything. Yawn.

Back to my saga. My heroine's sister stole a fleet of ships during those three days and is on a rescue mission, with a little corpse hunting on the side (don't ask). It won't do any good to write chapters dramatizing this, from the sister's point of view, cuz my heroine will still need to wake up and learn all about it. And it seems like a copout to write: "Andie hobbled to the computer and did a Google search on her sister. She was shocked that Percy would behave so, etc., etc."

Another option is having Andie drag information out of a well-informed buddy, one who's reluctant to tell Andie anything because it might impede her recovery. But that still smacks of the whole Gandalf-Frodo scene.

Should Andie read a newspaper? Watch TV? Yawn.

Perhaps I'll have Percy write Andie a letter. A smug, patronizing, but cryptic letter from a bossy sister ought to make Andie plenty mad while getting basic information across. Andie will immediately stomp out of the hospital to go do the opposite of what Percy wants.

Or maybe Andie's nurses will act out recent events using finger puppets and funny voices. Who knows?

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