Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Problems with Plotting - Part 2

Ooookay, lots of progress here on the writing front... NOT. I did figure out that my "ending" isn't really an ending. It's an integral step to the ending but not an ending in and of itself unless the book is already like 750 pages long and I need a quick ending where the reader is left to assume that after this breakthrough, everything works itself out perfectly and the good guys all ride off into the sunset patting their backs after a job well-done. Since right now I'll be lucky to eke out 75 pages for this story, let alone 750, I don't think a quick ending is in the cards. So I still don't have an ending and the rest of the plotting isn't going all that great either.

One of the things I was trying to do for this story is make it like a snippet of the MC's (main character's) life instead of a whirlwind however many days where the sky is falling and everything else is put on hold while the catastrophe is dealt with. I want to show her dealing with other life difficulties and everyday stuff that either challenge her or provide some much-needed balance. Regardless of what purpose these events serve, they're not going to be cryptically tied into the main event by some weird collection of coincidence and circumstance. They're just other aspects of her life so we can see the fullness of it and her character.

Why is this important to me for this book? There are a few authors who do this regularly in their writing and I think it really adds something to the reading experience. Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books are the ones that come to mind first (and no, not only the "Early AB" era as some readers refer to it). Anita will have all this monster drama going on and still be juggling her animator job, bridesmaid's fittings, and friend emergencies. I like that. Also, I've been reading my critique partner's novel recently and the whole thing is like "Everyday Man Experiences Life" but not in a "And then I brushed my teeth. Scrub. Scrub. Scrub." boring way. It's more like seeing everyday events through his eyes - how he sees the situation, what he thinks about the other people involved, how he hides stuff from his parents even when he can't figure out why he's bothering to hide it in the first place. It's a bunch of experiences that we often relate to, even if we're not proud of our showing at the time.

I don't intend to do this to the same degree that he did, but again, I think it will offer the reader an interesting experience - to be able to relate to some of the mundane aspects of the MC's life even while the MC is battling demons or whatnot in an alternate reality. And that's where I'm stuck - trying to pin down her other interests. She's being cagey. I'm also at a bit of a loss concerning how to move my main plot forward. I'm stuck in the "icky-sticky mud" as E3.11 would say (thanks Dora the Explorer...). Or is it the "icky-gooey mud?"

Anyways, that's where I am on the writing front.

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