There was a moment during last night’s editing of Kolor Ijo that had me going, “Hum, really? I did that?” And it had nothing to do with clumsy sentence structure, of which a few I discovered during the night. It had to do with discovering that I’d actually done a great job setting up a mystery–
Allow me to explain.
First off, I’m not good with riddles and mysteries. Riddles have always set up a mind block in me of some kind, and I usually have no idea what they are, or mean. I mean, there’s often no point of reference for them, so unless you’re Edward E. Nigma, they seem difficult, if not impossible, to solve.
And mysteries are never good with me. I can usually see the solution coming a mile a way, or I’m spending too much time trying to figure out how the particular conclusion was reached an I remained puzzled. This is one of the reasons I don’t mind spoilers in a book, show, or movie, because a lot of time I’m watching how someone–the writer and director in most cases–got from A to Z without tripping over their own feet. I’ll usually have to go back and reread or watch something to determine if I enjoyed what I’d seen, or if I’d realized that what was before me made no sense. (I had that happen with a recent re-watching of the movie, The Avengers. Didn’t make much sense on the second time around.)
But what I’d done in Kolor Ijo was set up a mystery. I had to, because the events that lead to Part Three are all dependent on things that happen twenty years before, and as I was going through the story last night, I could remember how I’d spent time sinking down into the story and looking up some history on Indonesia to be able to get to that particular point in the novel. And after I did so, I felt pretty pleased with myself.
Last night wasn’t the best of nights, what with crying and my toilet deciding it was going to spray water around my bathroom with a little help from me–that last part is true, don’t ask. But while I was in my little editing zone, I felt a confident and, yes, pleasure, that all those years ago–well, almost three–I was able to set up a background event that, in the long term, made sense. And I remember now that this story was one of the reasons I started looking into time line software, because I was probably thinking at the time, “This would be a lot easier to lay out if I could actually see what happened in the past.”
That’s carried into today, because I’m setting up little hints and clues to future events in my current set of novels. Or, if not that, I’m throwing things out there that may seem like I’m just blowing them off, but that will be resolved somewhere down the line. Maybe in few chapters, maybe in a few novels.
Believe me, though: I will get back to them, because I know they are there.