Friday, January 21, 2011

Getting to Know You

It may have been Anne Lamott. It may have been The Lioness quoting Randy Ingermansen. I don't remember. Somebody said "get to know your characters."

I thought I did.

I've been looking for all these reasons why the writing isn't happening. It may come down to the simple "I don't know these people."

That would be a real reason I can't write it.

So, I've spent the last week thinking about them. The only writing I've done is in a file called Past Ties Outline.

I wrote down the major events of all three "books," and I stared at them. Why did these things happen? Who is this Gavran fellow? What horrendous event broke Shah? How important is Parok/Petrov/Orell (the poor guy's gone through more changes than an Animorph).

Mostly I've been asking myself "Do I like these people? Would anyone other than me like these people? Why?"

Good questions. My Outline file has expanded and contracted. Some backstory is showing up. Some continuity and plot issues are resolving. Some new ideas have grown and some old ones have been buried.

As I've considered Robert Jordan this week, reading the various reactions of other folks to his work, I've realized a very important thing.

I don't do simple.

I like complicated. I like details and intrigues and connections where no apparent connections exist. I like layers in my stories. I want to write things you can enjoy once, but will enjoy more when you go back.

Don't get me wrong. Simple has its place. Probably a bigger place in the market than my stuff.
But when I write, I want more to do.

So the Outline will continue, focusing on the history of the characters and their motivations when facing the crisis I've given them.

Gavran will lose some anger issues. Shah will lose some whine. Orell will get some hair (I originally wrote him bald, but I'm just not feeling it anymore, even trying to keep Vin Diesel as inspiration).

I'm not giving up. I'm digging in. I see a crack in that writer's block and I'm going for it

And to prove I'm serious, I closed my Fishville app. It's just me and the Farm now.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, you really are serious about this, eh? No more Fishville...

    I'm right there with you, though (not in Farmville--I don't do ANY FB apps) as I like complicated, too. A linear plot is fine, and I do read books like that. But I don't necessarily read them /again/. I love books that make me go back and search for what I missed the first time, that have me guessing all over the place how this ties with that, and that ties with the other....

    Keep it up. Listen to your heart. :D

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  2. Fishville and I were about done anyway. The Dolphin I couldn't sell showing up one night - it was the last straw. Or fish. Or whatever.

    Right now my heart is saying "thump-THUMP. thump-THUMP."

    hehe!

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