Post-Grave h/c made a big jump forward last night. I started understanding one of the threads running through it. It's interesting to me how this process bounces up & down from conscious to unconscious and back. Something in the back of my mind chews on this stuff, and produces character actions and imagery. Later on I select among the options more consciously and highlight the ones that connect to others or to whatever story it is I'm convinced I'm telling.
In "Tradition & Protocol" there is a very clear repeated image that I saw right away, in my opening scene, that kept coming to mind again, until I realized that it was important and needed to be picked up and sharpened. Then in another pass I submerged it somewhat, so it's not in the reader's face in a clumsy way. (Needs more submerging, if you ask me.) It's just there, for you to pick up on if you read in that fashion, and to affect you unconsciously if you don't.
Payoffs have more power when they're distant from their setups. Set up early, remind, remind, whomp. This is, I think, what many fanfic writers give up when they choose to write serial fiction, and why writing it makes me v v nervous. How can I make where the story ends up satisfying if I don't know that at the start? Or maybe other people just plan better than I am capable of planning at the moment. Sometimes my unconscious waits until I'm writing the end scene to tell me what I needed to do in the very first one. (This is what just happened with the Post-Grave H/C story. Which needs a new title. Sigh.)