07 May 2006

Writer's Gap

Hmmm... I need an event. I've got two scenes worked out, which make great sense on their own, but there's something missing in between. I'm not sure exactly what needs to go there, except that it needs to draw two characters closer together. *sighs* I'm probably going to need a few more of these right after the scene I'm working on as well. Otherwise the timing is going to be all screwy. *sighs* I have a few ideas for what sorts of events I can use. Basically, the one unifying theme for the section I'm currently on is a series of murders. So I can expand on that. Another option is to plant some seeds for future plotlines. Problem is, those plotlines don't involve the characters I need to bring together. Ah well. I'll figure it out.

Other writing-related news... James from my Saturday taiji class also writes. I found this out yesterday during push-hands (which means we were talking too much, but Don worked us both hard to make up for that). He acted a lot like I do when mentioning my writing to people I don't know very well (shy, a bit embarrassed, not sure he should be talking about it). So I immediately had to ask, "Do you get stories that stay stuck in your head until you write them down?" He does. We both agree it can be annoying at times.

If you've never experienced this, imagine that you have a series of events running through your head. When you're directly concentrating on something, they'll recede into the background for a while, but in every quiet, unoccupied moment they come creeping back into your awareness. Sometimes they're a complete story in and of themselves. Sometimes they're just a scenario, begginng to be completed. But until they get written down, they just stay there in your consciousness, and won't let you think about anything else without a great deal of effort. Don says that's the sign of a true writer: when you can't not write.

A side effect of this (for me at least) is an instant ability to come up with backstory for a character who only appeared in the story as a convenience to further an unrelated plot. Which sometimes means I have to start over, as the character's backstory doesn't mesh with anything else. It can be very strange, though, to leap from "Hmm... I need a female character in this scene" to "Ah, yes. She's one of the Brethren who came over with Valdren's father." Further details emerged from there, and somewhere along the way she named herself "Hannah." Fibonacci helped me work out some of the consequences of the backstory she came with.

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