Storylines: Many Forks, One Meal

As many of you know, I am about 50% Plotter and 50% Pantser because I like to create a framework for a story and then dive in and play within that structure.  I find that combination to be flexible enough to tell a good tale and not burn myself out when a plot goes off-road on me.

The thing is that the initial story idea goes through many evolutions before the finished story is ready to put out there.  We work diligently to interpret and write down the images that hang out inside our minds and that translation process involves an infinite number of mental filters as it grows and prospers.  For example, you’re working on a scene where two characters are having a conversation.  On the surface, describing a conversation is fairly straightforward.

But…

What are circumstances behind the conversation? Is it angry? Are the two characters dealing with an interpersonal issue?  Where are they? Is anything else going on around them?

Each of these questions open new paths that potentially take the story in a new and often unexpected directions depending on the type of story we are telling.  That is both the fun and the pain of it.  I don’t always welcome such forks in the road but I’ve learned that it’s better to explore the alternatives because everything can be edited out later.

In other news, I am still chewing on the elephant that is Lights and Shadows but I see its completion date slipping into Limbo, which was totally unexpected when I started working on it in 2015.  Thankfully, I only planned one book for 2016 so there is still time to get it out there before I turn my attention back to Parallax’s Sequels.

Well, that’s it for today. I should have a Lights and Shadows Update done soon so stay tuned and Happy Writing to you all. 🙂

The Eternal Struggle: Deadlines vs Fun

I’ve made no secret in the past that I am no fan of Deadlines.  They start off simple, get complicated in the middle, and eventually turn into one humongous pain in the backside when time grows short and hair pulling commences.

However, as much as I detest them, they serve a valuable function in keeping us on track and not allowing projects to enter that Bermuda Triangle known as Limbo Land.  My deadlines perform more as goals than ironclad absolutes because when I make them I don’t always consider the curveballs that Life has a tendency to throw at me.  It’s a poor excuse but I’m owning it…heh.

Deadlines aren’t fun and I don’t believe they are meant to be.  They are that stern authority figure standing over or behind you proclaiming that you must finish the job you started.  They are an extension of your conscience jabbing and prodding at you to stop mucking around and get back on task.  They’re also that good friend reminding you that stagnation is the enemy of progress and rarely do good things happen to those who stand still.

Plus, they never end because once a project is finished and released to a hungry horde, another is waiting in the wings to eat up time and effort.

Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way…