Tuesday, December 9, 2014
A Hammer, A Drill and A New Plot
He went out to the garage shortly after breakfast. It didn't take long for the grumbling to start. Then the pounding of a hammer commenced. I shook my head. I could see a new lamp purchase in our future. There was more racket and the grumbling became rather colorful. Then, for some unknown reason, the electric drill roared to life. So did the cussing! When what sounded like a zillion lamps hit the garage floor, I knew his "easy fix" was done. Well, there was the whirl of the shop vac. He just left to go buy a new lamp--and I shudder to think what it'll look like. My tastes run to the coordinated. His to the cheap.
Still, I could identify with it all. I've had storylines like that. A bright idea popped into my head, got my creative juices flowing and then everything stopped. When I was awake, nothing worked. When I tried to sleep, ideas flitted through my mind only to be forgotten by morning.
Characters I thought were great turned out to behave one way in one instance and a different way in another. You know, bi-polar jerks. And I couldn't see it. My critique partners could point it out, but I was plowing ahead, oblivious to his or her inconsistencies. Then, whammo, it would hit me. This story is nothing but crap.
Or, as one truly good writer recently complained about her current WIP, it's like I've drawn the box, but there's nothing in it.
But there was something in mine...and it stunk...stank...ah...smelled like a complete rewrite.
This is why we need to know our characters before we begin--their pasts, their hurts, the reasons they react to things a certain way. And keep it consistent until we reach their character arc where we can show their point of personal growth and change...and no, it won't happen over night, but it will make them think about things, help them move three steps forward, even if they sometimes make two steps backward. None of us makes a complete, positive change overnight. We do it in steps and stages.
We also need to know how the story will end. What do you envision the ending scene as being? The ways your characters reach that point is your creativity at work. I can envision my ending scene of my current WIP. Now, how I'll reach that point will be the fun part or the agony. Perhaps that's what we should call the writing life--THE AGONY AND THE ECSTACY.
For a fun Christmas novella, think of purchasing SANTA WORE LEATHERS, the introduction to my firemen's "Wild Heat" series. http://amzn.com/B00GFD6X34
Book one of my "Wild Heat" series HOW TO SEDUCE A FIREMAN is available now. http://amzn.com/B00ME1OWD4
For a dash of paranormal in your Scottish Highland romance, try book one of my contemporary "Highland Beloved" series, A HIGHLANDER'S OBSESSION. http://amzn.com/B00ILX9WC0