Thursday, January 22, 2015

Writing 50 pages to learn the plot.

Nobody's Killing Me has the most complicated plot I've ever attempted.  Not only does it entail time and space travel, it has three separate plotlines.  Despite this, I've been winging it, doing it intuitively, and hoping I can correlate everything later.  Dangerous.

I really couldn't seem to get going on the book yesterday, but I dedicated the whole day to it, and kept trying, and finally, about an hour before it was time to quit, I sat down one last time.

I had two characters sitting in a bar, and I had no idea why.  Usually by 50 pages into a book I have a general idea of where the book is going, but I was still pretty foggy.

So I just had the two characters start to talk to each other -- and boom, the plot is suddenly clearer.  The conversation is a bit revealing, but then one thing I have a really hard time doing is holding back on plot developments.  I find I'm usually better off just going ahead and revealing them, with the assumption there are more mysteries ahead.

Anyway, I got that moment of excitement I was looking for.  Up until then, I'd been more intellectually curious than anything.  I was exploring an alien landscape, trying to adapt it to Iliad and Odyssey elements, and trying to keep the home world part of the book going.  I was interested, but this was the moment of frisson that I was looking for.  Maybe it's a little late.  50 pages in, but I can now take these ideas and apply them to the earlier parts. 

I had to write 50 pages to find my way, as usual.

This is sort of an experimental effort for me.  My "side" projects seem to be me trying to write outside my comfort zone.  Sometimes, as with Tuskers, it works out.  Other times, like Spell Realm, it's a bit of a mess.

My next side project will also be an experiment. A love story.  I've done a love story before, Sometimes A Dragon, but I messed it up.  It's still there, and I'm still hoping to tease out the original conception, but I'm moving forward for now.  Gargoyle Dreams will be a love story written by someone a little older, if not wiser.  But someone with more life experience.

The main thing yesterday did for me was confirm I'm back.  Hanging in there all day, and then finally having it produce something worthwhile, was incredibly validating.

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