I’ve just finished writing the climactic chapter of the A plot of DTI: Watching the Clock. Next I’ll write the climactic chapter of the B plot. But the B-plot climax comes before the A-plot climax. So I’m writing them in reverse order. Which is fitting for a time-travel novel.
I’ve done it this way for two reasons. One, I was on a roll, dealing with something that was introduced in the chapter just before the B-plot climax and then continued in the chapter after it, and I didn’t want to break my momentum by switching to the other plot. Two, recently I realized that there was an element in the B plot that was too similar to an element of the A plot. I revised it, but I decided I should be more careful, so I finished the A plot first so I could then make sure I didn’t make the B plot too similar. Naturally the A plot should take precedence.
I’m fairly satisfied with how the A plot turned out, though some bits could still use some fleshing out, and I may be able to do that in the denouement chapter. There are some other elements I’d like to fill out more in earlier parts of the book, which I’ll address in revisions. So there’ll be some more jumping back in time.
If you ever get out a cereal bar and have the sudden impulse to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds so you can have it warm, check first to see if the wrapper is made of foil. I was already two seconds into heating one when I thought, “Wait a minute, is that…” Then one second later, sparks flew inside the microwave. I opened the door immediately, but the wrapper (which I’d at least had enough sense to open for venting first) was already swiss-cheesed and crumpled. The cereal bar looked fine, but I didn’t want to take any chances with, I dunno, melted plastic getting into it (since the wrappers appear to be made of plastic and foil), so I threw that one out and got another, this time taking it out of the wrapper altogether and putting it on a napkin before heating it for about 7 seconds. It turned out rather nicely, though it could’ve used another couple of seconds.