Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Shifting the Sheriff - Again

Poor Sheriff Woo. It looks like he's going back to Day Three again. I reread the chapter completely tonight and there are several plot threads that would have to be cut or severely diminished if the incident occurs on Day Two.

The main benefit I had seen earlier in the month for moving the scene had to do with Jacob appearing ambivalent around Graham - Jacob can't figure out whether to trust Graham or whether Graham is some kind of child molester (why else would an out-of-town grown-up want to hang with a 15-year-old boy?). I think I can work Jacob into the scene where Graham interviews the high school principal at the beginning of Day Two. I can beef up Day Two with Graham doing some photography stuff if necessary, depending on what else I come up with that Graham needs to express to the reader thematically or about the town to make writing such a scene pay off.

For the record, the benefits (as I see them now) to the sheriff scene coming on Day Three include: discussion of using "community service" to pay off fees and fines, the possible con artistry of Gantt, and the scene ultimately segues into Graham going to interview Gantt with a chip on his (Graham's) shoulder. None of these is the primary reason for the chapter - to find out a) what happened to Jacob's dad and b) to prompt Woo to find Gantt's backstory and c) to further the subtheme of "stereotype and identity" - but they help camoflauge that material.

It also gives Jacob a reason why he can't say goodbye to Maya before she leaves for the hospital in Pendleton, an issue that pops up on Day Four and begins the action for the zombirific finale.