Friday, March 18, 2011

Plot Device #23

Long day, not much writing as a result.  On the other hand, I managed to cook a mean corned beef and cabbage meal, so I can't say I didn't accomplish anything.

It's funny how the plot twists and turns.  I know there are some authors out there who begin with an outline, then make it more detailed, then fill in the connectors, and finally present a wonderful novel.  Ran across the blog of one guy, in fact, who uses that technique to publish over 800,000, ish, words a year.  For reference sake...a typical fiction novel from an established author is 150K - 200K, and prolific authors publish 1-2 of those a year.  Thus, the guy's output of nearly a million words a year is awfully good.  I just couldn't do it.  For one thing, over-outlining drives me absolutely batty.  I start at the I. part (usually I. Introduction) and then move on from there, and by the time I'm at III. or so I'm bored and wanna start just doing it.  Doesn't serve me well for academic papers, of course, but as a recipe for fiction it's not bad. 

The thing is, fiction evolves.  Part of what I enjoy the most, and what keeps me going, is that I don't really even know for sure what's going to happen in my own story.  I started out with a pretty solid idea of where to start, and a plan for the plot, and a certainty on where it needed to end up, but the "along the way" part still wasn't 100% fleshed out.  It's that fleshing out that I really tend to enjoy, watching the story...and the world described by it...unfold as I write it.

Sounds strange, I suspect, but it's kinda cool, and difficult to explain any more thoroughly. 

For example, I came up with an idea last night to introduce another couple of characters.  I'd been wondering what to do with the problem of the teenage twin girls not having anyone their age in the group they were stuck with, and decided to resolve it by bringing in two teenage boys out of a rescued group.  That was OK, but flat, so I decided after a beer or two to have the boys want to find out what happened to their sister and dad.  I'm still enjoying writing the part about the dad, though the sister died.  Sorry, sis.  I figured naming her "Plot Device #23" was bad, so I chose a variant of it spelled "Ellen."  And now, I'm coming up with all sorts of other twists for the future of these two lads.  But all that will have to wait till tomorrow, when I'm more rested and have more time to create. 

Till then...g'night. 

Word count: 60,499

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