Monday, August 9, 2010

As a Canadian I never thought I'd say this, but I long for winter...

I realize the heatwaves are an international problem that's happening worldwide. But for pity's sake, I live in Canada, it shouldn't be this bad!

I had a bad night yesterday, too hot and I couldn't concentrate on anything. So I decided to move my laptop elsewhere and see if I could get some writing done. Results: Cooler conditions = 1000 words typed. I need to move to the arctic...

Chapter 2 is now 2/3 done at least, and I'm working on wrapping up the chapter while it's still the cooler morning weather.

I keep discovering new things as I write this story. This brings me back to an earlier post about outlines. Stories change and evolve, so outlines can't be written in stone, otherwise there would be no natural evolution of the story. It's important to me to always look at the bigger picture and always be willing to learn new things. I'm very grateful to have an open mind, I doubt I would be able to create such a highly fictional world otherwise.

There's a line I often have to draw, of course. When using my imagination, the possibilities are endless. I always allow a story to evolve, but I won't let my imagination run away with me. Well, most of the time anyway. This is the difference between possible and plausible. In fiction, it doesn't have to be possible, just plausible. It has to be sensible at least. Random example, if I killed off all the main characters in the second chapter, while death happens and it is possible, it's anything but plausible. In fact, that would be just silly. Sure, I can imagine anything, but that doesn't mean I should write everything. I have to draw that line.

Another aspect to this story that I'm finding very interesting, is making sure the metaphors or analogies are appropriate for the character within the context of this story, especially since I'm writing in the first person. Though I have found this could apply to writing in the third person. It's such a little thing most people don't notice, but I've seen improper use of metaphors that I know the characters wouldn't be able to think of. Again, not plausible. Not to mention, completely out of context.

For example, I once read in a novel, written in the first person, thought by a teenage girl, "It's like typing the words 'The End' on a manuscript." Er, she's a teenager, unless she miraculously wrote and published novels (which she didn't in this story), she wouldn't have that experience. It was the wrong comparison to make. The only way that could have worked, is if it was written in the third person.... maybe. I felt the author didn't even know their own character.

So I'm having fun trying to find the right comparisons that are within the realm of the character's experience. I'll come up with an analogy and think to myself, would the character even know what beet-red looks like in this post-apocalyptic world? Are there any beets? See, this is the biggest difference between mapping out all aspects of a story (outlines, character development, etc) and writing by the seat of my pants. Thought is needed before and during in order to truly craft a story.

Okay, a couple more hours of nice morning weather. Back to writing...

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