Thursday, November 19, 2009

Plotting Their Demise…

Do you hear the evil laughter? That is the echo from ME last night.

You see, I had reached a place in my WiP where I felt a little like I was spinning my wheels… running in place like the Python Arthurians storming the castle and never making any progress whatsoever.

So I did what I do…

Plotting

I got naked and got in the bath…

[oops… wrong bathtub activity]

...then I thought… okay, where do I need this all to be for the NEXT book to start? I proceeded to outline one of the perspectives through about ¾ of book 3… then thought a little more… decided who my second perspective is going to be and plotted a little of HIS story—I may actually include Athena’s perspective again too—she was one of two in the first book, but she is central to how all the characters intersect and she will be central in the final action of the trilogy. Three PoVs probably makes it longer, but I REALLY like her, and I think she will add to the power of the story.

Looking at most of what I want to happen in Book 3 really opened me up to what still needed to happen in book 2. It helped me re-outline the primary action for the rest of the book (I actually worked backword from the end to where I am in the writing in order to plot it) and I think it will flow more easily for longer…



The Evil in Me

It is a wacky thing though… plotting two deaths and the loss of identity of a 3rd character. Why am I enjoying this so much? Is that natural? Are writers a sadistic lot compared to normal people, or does this actually allow us a release that doesn’t harm anyone and so in the long run we’re nicer? Can I run with that line, even if it's not true?

I DO have a hard time not redeeming my bad guys… I learned this writing a fan fiction about the Malfoy Family… I just couldn’t leave anyone completely rotten if I got in their head for any length of time (though on principle I have avoided writing from the perspective of Umbridge or Bellatrix… no redeeming THEM). It may have something to do with my underlying beliefs that in the absence of true psychosis, most people who do bad things, do them because they’ve been damaged by circumstances, whether teachings, experiences, or deep neglect. People aren’t naturally evil—they are MADE that way… which always makes me want to UNMAKE them that way.
So like I tell people…

I’m not evil. I’m just naughty.



And a Status Check-In

On NaNoWriMo I have completed 38K+ words and I’ve made an observation… I am part of the ‘Ann Arbor’ region and my miserable Regioneers (865 of them—doesn’t that seem high for a city of only 200,000?) have amassed and average of 14,841 words… that puts us in 414th place of 484 (and me at 2 1/2 times the average). Now I don’t think anyone at or above that average is doing that badly… this is still a winnable project with 11 days left (granted, that is more than 3000 words a day, but it could be done)… yet I digress… my REAL observation is the Fan Fiction Veterans I have signed up with are ROCKING. Nearly all of us are at or approaching 30,000 or better, and a couple are ahead of me (which honestly, I’m not sure I expected by this point… I am better at the marathon thing than a lot of people I know… a little at a time, keep plugging away—in fact my graph of progress doesn’t have ANY days with no words-- just under 900 was my lowest day—that is not the norm)

So I am recommending for any tentative writers, or writers who write sporadically, to find a community in which to share that will DEMAND regular updates, as the fan fiction world has for this group. I think there are places for other kinds of stories, though I don’t know any to recommend, but I feel like that discipline, learned in that setting, has been VERY good for us as a group.  I'm very proud...

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

4 comments:

Terry Odell said...

Three book arcs? I can't plot three chapters ahead. But I plug away and don't worry about unwriting if I go down the wrong path.

M.J. Nicholls said...

Yes: Bath brainstorming is brilliant. The best books were developed in the tub, among them the lesser-known "Catcher in the Rye."

Yes: Evilness is a luxury afforded only we domesticated lower middle-class writers. Everyone else has to pay penance.

Yes: Writing workshops are invaluable. I completed a book in four to five months thanks to my writing comrades. Even better if you have a pool of regular reviewers.

No: Nudism doesn't work in Scotland. Half the populace would die of pneumonia.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, it's FUN to kill people on paper! So cathartic.

Had to laugh at M.J's comment on nudism in Scotland. I guess clothing is more protective and less optional there!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

Terry--just 3 perspectives for one story... it's a little complicated--that is what I do, but usually I progress ONE story, changing PoV as I go... the middle book has been about half in different places, so more parallel than sharing, but... yeah...

Mark, you just need to build up your nudity stamina... I've been naked in Scotland and it wasn't half bad! (and I had NO IDEA that JD Salinger was a fellow bath writer00I'm thrilled!)

Elizabeth... yes! fun to kill on paper! Or so I keep trying to convince myself... I actually still have a very hard time with it. Since I don't write murders, it means one of my characters either needs to kill or die! (other than the one witnessed, but as it was the poor boys father, it was still rather horrible of me)