One of my ideas that I’ve been flirting with for a long time is based on a Nanowrimo I did back in 2008. It had a marathon-long opening, going through the MC’s childhood and first meeting with her love interest. The tone felt like a warm-mushy John Cougar Mellencamp song with magic thrown in, and it was pretty awful with a few nice bits.
That’s the idea I wanted to refine and work on using the plotting tips from Rock Your Plot, and this magical combination of dedicated time and systems-building and exercise has made me feel so prepared.
I was running this morning, and I realized that one of the main problems (other than, you know, the lack of any plot whatsoever) was that the MC was really well-defined while every other character was a cardboard cut out. They sprang into life because of little scenarios I’d envisioned the protagonist experiencing. I was using them as paper dolls to propel my MC forward. As I hatefully plonked one foot in front of the other, the backstory of the love interest as well as one of the primary conflicts unfolded. It was magic.
It’s funny. I do so much editing for other people, and these things are incredibly obvious when you’re criticizing someone else’s baby. How could I have missed it in my own ugly baby?
Important note for future knowings:
It is better to be caught eating a cupcake neatly than it is to be caught choking on the cupcake you wolfed in order to avoid being caught eating it.
Blargh, I have to go to a rich old dude meeting in VT with my boss this week. Everyone will be politely snookered, wearing khaki shorts with a tucked-in polo, and complaining about the income tax issues they have from owning residences in multiple states. Every time I have to talk to someone named Geoff or Bitsy, I die a little inside.
What I’m reading now:
I’m on ch. 11 of Rock Your Plot. Very quick, easy read. Highly recommended. It’s nothing original, but it’s clearly the distillation of the best tips the author has gleaned after reading a thousand books on writing.
What I’m reading next:
2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron.