Shuffling Characters and Scenes

I’ve been considering moving one character’s entrance into the novel to a later point, with a vague idea that it would help crank up the drama. But if I moved his scenes further down the line, what would take their place? I could move someone else’s entrance closer to the beginning, but I would have to have a good reason for it. Today, with the usual feeling of ‘where the heck did all that come from?’ everything worked itself out.

Cam, a college student majoring in penal systems development, has to spend time in a high security prison as part of his studies. That was going to come fairly late in the story. Instead, his ordeal comes immediately after the less rigorous prison scenes with Ross. The strong contrast between the two heightens the drama over all and together, they give readers a fairly comprehensive look at the system. Ross and Cam enter Den’s supervision together, and Cam’s disturbed state after a month of solitary feeds into Den’s discontent with the system and his place in it. Stacey, the brash young rebel, comes in later, and keeps the tension going.

Moving one character closer to the beginning of the book accomplished a few things that I wasn’t even thinking about, and solved a couple of problems that have been bugging me for a couple of weeks. Of course, now I have to change my  rough outline and the order of several scenes, but I can see that the story will flow so much better and the tension will have a better chance to build rather than level off and disappear.

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