To say that plots change while a story is being worked on is kind of like saying water is wet and the sky is blue.
Is it a bad thing? Not really because many reasons can contribute this phenomena rearing its ugly head. Perhaps the writer has grown bored with the subject material and wishes to take it in another direction. Perhaps the writer is stuck at a certain point (the first paragraph tends to be my personal Torquemada) and wants to try different things to get things moving again. Perhaps the writer is simply going through a bout of procrastination and is trying to compensate by moving words around.
The main problem with making changes while a story is in work-in-progress mode is that it delays finishing the story and when that happens, time tends to fly by faster than one might expect. Next thing you know, years have passed and one is left scratching their head in a most perplexed manner.
Could it be a good thing? Perhaps if the changes stick and a new story emerges from the old. I’m sure it happens but I wouldn’t put any wagers on it.
Having a solid and well-defined outline can help to keep one on track but in the end, remaining faithful to the spirit of the story is the most important thing to remember.
So, pour your favorite beverage, organize your workspace, and get to it. Stories don’t write themselves.
It has been my experience that the first lines of any story seem to be the hardest to write. That being said, here is a preview of the Intro to Parallax: Genesis as I am currently working on it:
They jumped. Then reappeared. Then jumped again, the process repeating itself several more nauseating times before they left Normal Space. Everything on board the ship went dead, except for the smell of ozone that drifted up from the Bridge and the faint whoosh of handheld fire extinguishers
After a few more minutes, the remains of emergency power kicked in and he was able to lower himself back down to the Bridge. There, he noticed a gaping hole in the rear bulkhead that had been cut away. Behind the hole lay the remains of part of the ship’s electronics.
He looked at DuBois and the Pis. “Let me guess. We have a new problem.”
One minute Pratt was asking after a problem; the next he was feeling one as a blast erupted from the rear bulkhead and catapulted him across the bridge. Stars twinkled in his peripheral vision and the deck plating scraped him roughly as he landed face-first in a pile against the forward bulkhead doors. As a final insult, the overhead lights flickered and died, swallowing him up in a thick blanket of darkness.
When he came to, he was uncomfortably reminded that silence was in command as he pulled himself to his feet by way of a set of bulkhead handholds. He groped through the darkness until his fingers closed around a square object affixed to the bulkhead. Pulling the battle lantern free from its mounting bracket, he switched it on and moved the yellow beam over the consoles and prone bodies of the android crew members. DuBois and the Pis were nowhere to be seen. A sickly sweet smell hovered in the air that immediately put him on his guard. Reaching out, he located the nearest ventilation duct and placed a hand over its diffuser. Feeling no breeze coming from it, he surmised that the emergency ventilation system had failed and in time, the internal atmosphere would thin as the available oxygen slowly ran out.
Sometimes one must have to take a break from things, even those things that we love doing. When you compound that with a story that hits the ditch and has to be put up for retooling, the breaks become even more important.
It’s been about two years since I started working on the sequel to Parallax and after many distractions and some plot problems, I’ve decided to wipe it all out and start over. Now I know that there’s always some salvageable nuggets buried within but this time I think it’s the right course of action.
I also realize that it’s been quite a while since I updated the blog and I intend on making up for lost time.
Thanks to those who have hung in there and your patience will be rewarded soon. That is my promise to you.
In all my years serving in the Legion, I rarely had to raise my sword in anger. But when I did, the Heavens trembled at the prospect – Immunes Longinus Cratos
The furs that covered his leather armor gave off a musty odor as he walked through the forest at dusk. From a distance, he appeared as any other barbarian that the land would offer up with the exception of his measured stride. The smoke from the chieftain’s cooking fires carried the aroma of freshly killed deer venison and his stomach threatened to betray him as he found a hiding spot near the camp. His brown eyes studied the camp’s design. No guards other than those at the leader’s tent. He shook his head as he sat down in the shadow of a fallen log and checked his dagger and short sword. Once the sun had completely set, he would creep into the camp and complete his task. Tied to his belt was a small leather pouch containing a collection of herbs he had collected along the way and his trusty wine pouch. After praying silently to Mars and Fortuna, he leaned back against the log and waited for the light to dim.
It’s not a revelation that there are people out there who go to out of control lengths to get revenge when their desires are thwarted. Instead of acknowledging and moving on, they resort to smear campaigns to get even with those they think have wronged them in some way.
Are you listening, Bernie?
I saw an article on the news this morning about emails from the DNC that showed their top leadership expressing frustration with Senator Bernie Sanders and an intent to make sure that he never gets the nomination. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in fair play and stacking the deck in any one particular favor is a big no-no with me. I’m an Independent so I feel that I can look at this objectively. Plus, I support Trump so this is an academic exercise at best.
Sanders is out but refuses to believe that he is out. To be honest, I’m surprised that he lasted as long as he did in this race and for that, I’ll give him credit. However, he had to know going in that he wasn’t going to stand much of a chance against the “historic precedent” that Hillary Clinton is being advertised under. Yes, I believe that Hillary Clinton is being marketed as the first potential female president, not the most qualified to be president. There are starving kids in China and Africa so keep the tomatoes holstered, okay?
I guess The Revolution will have to be postponed until 2020.
I don’t do many non-writing posts but this issue was too good to let pass by without some sort of commentary. Thanks for your time. 🙂
Yep, you’re reading this correctly: I’ve decided to take a (hopefully) brief hiatus from working on the blog to concentrate more on my writing projects. As much fun as it has been, it’s become a distraction and distractions I already have by the truckload. I’ll still pop in from time to time to announce release dates and whatnot but the day to day stuff you’ll have to wait for until I come back.