Thursday, 19 September 2013

Concepts and Reality



Hey all,

I just ordered a dip belt—the kind that you chain weight plates to while you’re doing dips and pull-ups. I’m excited, and no one else is either up/ wants to hear about it so you all get to. You’re a semi-captive audience, especially if you want to get to the other parts of this blog. I suppose you could always just skip the first paragraph, but then you’ll never know about my adventures outside of my writing world.

Anyways, writing—it can be tricky. I’ve had this concept for the end of the second Dreamstate book for quite a while now. A lot of stuff happens, and without turning the book into a 300,000 word monsterpiece the only way that could happen is if I condense it. By condense, I mean that I take over for a little bit as a narrator (just a chapter) and move the plot along. It’s a bit of a time jump where everything is explained out and isn’t acted through by the characters. It happens now and again in various stories, and when used correctly, I think can be a reasonable tool for pushing the story forwards. A few events happen, but they tie into later things, which I explain, and so it’s not super crucial that they be fleshed out all that much (yet). It seems like a solid idea in theory.

The problem with ideas that sound good in theory is that they aren’t always that good when applied practically. I think the concept would be fine if I were more adept at dealing with taking over as a narrator, but I’m really on shaky ground here. I’m used to having my characters drive everything in the story. I’m supposed to be the puppet-master giving everyone a voice, not talking directly to the audience. I’m still tracking with getting as much writing as I want to get done, done—but it’s slow going. I’m slightly worried that this chapter might feel like a bit of a copout where I’ve gotten bored with what I’m doing, and I just want to be finished. Really, the opposite is true, where I don’t want the reader to get bored. There is a lot of repetition going on in the lives of the characters, and hearing the same thing over and over again would probably make someone want to put the book down and wander away.

I suppose I shouldn’t judge the work too harshly until I’m done with the section. I can be a bit brutal with myself when things are only in a halfway finished state. If I truly hate it, I can always fill it out a bit more when I’m doing my first round of edits. I’ve wiped out bigger sections and rewritten them in the past; it wouldn’t be the first time that I’d done something like that.  I’ll see how it goes.

Oh also, there is a free weekend worth of From Ash coming up. Both Saturday and Sunday (21st and 22nd) the book will be free across all of the Amazons. This is the first time I’m keeping it free for a full 48 hours, so if you haven’t grabbed it yet and want to read about some murder and mayhem in a post-apocalyptic, cult-filled world, give it a look; it’s free.

-Trevor

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