The problem with snowshoeing is that you can’t expect your feet to do their normal thing. The whole “one foot ahead of the other” concept is not applicable when you have 3-foot long tennis rackets strapped to your boots (at least that is what it feels like).
Instead, you have to keep track of where both feet are at all times. This concept came to me a few weeks ago when my husband and I stole away for a snowshoe adventure.
It was my hubby’s b-day, and for his present we trekked through the snow (in the dark with spelunking lights on our foreheads) to stay the night at our “mountain resort.” (Did you catch the sarcasm?) It’s actually a quaint little cabin that runs off of propane and a most-of-the-time broken solar panel.
So how does this relate to writing? One word: plotting.
Imagine your left foot as “cause” and your right foot as “effect.” As you move forward, the interplay between cause and effect is crucial. Each chapter, each situation, should involve action. We all know that. But when writing, do we remember to ask ourselves, “what is the cause of this action (the catalyst), and what was the effect (or consequence) of it?”
It’s not necessarily the action that propels the plot forward, it’s the cause and effect of that action. Simply put, the effect of the last intense situation causes the next bit of adventure. In your novel, don’t let things happen “just because.” Tweens can sniff out a weak plot just as much as adults can.
If you forget to keep track of your cause and effect (a.k.a. left and right foot), you could easily end up face down in a snow bank. Trust me, I know.