Take it where you can get it.
I have been stuck in a particular series. The biggest problem was the flashback element that was pivotal for the main character and for the storyline. The story dealt with witches and that made the flashback options wide open but I was stuck with what could have been a never-ending bog instead of the murky middle.
I mentioned it casually to my sixteen year old who is also a writer. I did it more out of frustration than asking a question. He not only offered the perfect solution, but did it out of reflex.
I have a lot to teach my son about the craft of writing, but I also have as much to learn from him. I don’t need some ninety year old curmudgeon to guide me, not when I have superteen on my side.
Where did you get help from an unsuspected source?
As the long editing work on my first “Sprite” novel continues, I have been forced to realize some changes were needed. I am doing research for my third Sprite Series story, rebuilding my online network, and working on better themed photos for each part of Sprite as I write them.
To say I am stretching myself thin is an understatement. I would also like to say, I would have it no other way. You will be seeing some minor changes here including a menu change that will take you to my other works. I will separate each property by the type of content. I will have my 5 day per week serial work on one site, my random short stories on another, My personal life blogging on yet another. I will also include my social sites in easy to use links including my Tumblr, twitter, and Google Plus. I hope everyone finds what they want to read easily with my new structure. This site will remain about my thoughts on the writing life and so you should see no thematic changes in the posts. (well except this one) Thank you to everyone who has taken time to participate in my writing life. I will always do my best to remain thoughtful of others, mindful of context, and protective of personal feelings. No hate here, just writing for the love of writing.
I had a conversation with a reader today. She had a very good question that I thought I would expand upon and query the other authors in my little world.
When I write a story, I create the general plot, the story question, and the main events. Then I create the Characters and flesh them out as fully as I can. When all of this is complete I turn the characters loose in my head. I let them act and react according to their predispositions and circumstances. This has led to many plot twists I had not planned. The person I had pegged as the bad guy/girl turns out to be innocent with someone else pulling the strings who clearly had more motive. I have had this backfire once or twice, but that is out of one hundred plus stories. Often the twists lead to the only character who could have been the antagonist all along.
That is how I am sometimes surprised by my own stories. My readers seem to truly enjoy the twists and turns and unknowingly applaud my in depth planning to write such an interesting story. I hate to tell them, and I rarely do, that it isn’t as much planning as it is the nature of the people in the story.
My query is this: how many other writers use this technique? I always run into the same advice from authors to plan everything ahead of time. The author must know every step and set it up accordingly. I however have never been able to make this style of writing interesting enough. Is this due to a lack of discipline, or just differing methods? Any feedback is encouraged. I am not a writer whose ego belongs in a Christmas parade.