Had another night where I did everything else but write. Yay. Went to church, went out to lunch and then watched a movie and then sat down to write…well, then the parents came home and someone started watching football and the effort was pretty much gone from there.
Did get some tub-time in though and as my niece’s green squirt-y turtle was floating around the tub, I was able to clear the mind somewhat and get a little story planning in.
I struggle a lot with plot. Hey, I’m a poet and I don’t know it! Durrh.
Anyway, from what I notice, a lot of my writing and story planning has a lot to do with scene. I will picture a particular scene in my head; a location in full detail, the sky, the buildings…and the people in it and then I will build my story around that particular scene.
It’s almost like C.S. Lewis with his dream of the fawn in the red scarf, except my Narnia doesn’t seem to want to develop itself quite as effortlessly. What I’ve noticed a lot about Dawn’s Rising though, is that I’ve let my characters do a lot of the planning for me. I let them go where they want to go and viola! I’ve got a brand new twist and something new to go upon. The trouble with this is that it makes for a more complex world, as people (especially characters!) are never as simple as they appear.
But pshh trouble! Complexity is great…it just makes the plot, which is all twisty and full of cul-de-sacs hard to spot! I remember one time a creative writing teacher said the reason I have trouble with plot, is that I cannot SEE what I’m writing. So I took the story that I wrote and printed it out and arranged it all page by page on my bed and what a difference that makes!
There’s a symmetry to knowing that your words and the actions behind them are following the right path. Perhaps I should try the Castle thing, and hang pages up on a clothes line. If you’re not familiar with Castle it is a TV show on ABC starring the ever brilliant Nathan Fillion, whose character is a writer. I highly recommend it.
ANYWAY, a lot of writing plot I’m finding, is figuring out how to do it and in a way that works for you. I admit, I have yet to do this. For shorter stories I am fine…but for two-hundred plus pages? Ahh! Because there’s got to be a better way to SEE the story line.
I suppose that’s why creative writing teachers tell you to write the crappy novel…get it out-of-the-way and then you learn from the experience!
So, meet: Dawn’s Rising. My first “crappy” novel. Doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining along the way…