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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Good Part

"Seer Tyro Fiend" coming right along. Yesterday, I was busy writing the part which includes some of my initial inspiration for the story. As I've pointed out before, my novels usually begin with scenes developing in my head that aren't necessarily at the beginning of the story. Such scenes keep flowing around in my imagination until I actually get them into the framework of the story (and sometimes even after that). That means part of how the book starts getting written is constructing the set up for the inspired events, leading back to the formula for plotting I learned from a book on fiction writing long, long ago.
  1. Who is this character? (Of course, in a sequel, I already know this.)
  2. What does he/she want? Or more specifically, what problem is presented.
  3. What does this character do about it?
  4. What conflict arises from this action?
  5. How does the character address the conflict?
  6. What showdown does this lead to?
  7. How is the problem resolved?
While this is a "recipe" for creating the plot, it is not necessarily the outline for the book, and yeah, I do some tinkering with the steps above. In essence, something happens to someone and the story is what they do about it. This is character-driven plotting, to be sure. If it were plot-driven, question 1 above would deal with the person who instigated the "something that happened" which is usually not the protagonist/investigator. (Think Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple.)

So yesterday's scene was where some smaller events culminated in a crisis situation. My amateur sleuth, artist Stefanie Durant, is not a logical thinker, so it takes a crisis to get her thinking and making the proper connections. This scene is where her investigator husband Paul gets more into the act.

Then there will be the "big scene," the climactic moment which leads to resolution. Oddly, I don't know what this will be yet. In fact, I'm still playing with the roles of the various antagonists involved. Now that I have them in mind, that they've become "real" to me, I'll sit back and let their personalities take them where they have to go.

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