Monthly Archives: March 2013
When adventure shows up at your door, invite it in for tea. As a writer having adventure showing up is a great thing and should be made as comfortable as possible. Once adventure is there the story flows from there. The longer adventure stays the longer the story will flow. However, if at any point you make adventure uncomfortable it will leave and you lose the flow. Now you have to finish the story without adventure or hope you can lure back to help you get back into flow. But don’t try to hold adventure against its will. Adventure is a lot more slippery than you think, it might knock on your front door, but it can slip through keyhole on other doors.
Once you have let adventure in, you should enjoy the tea before you get into writing. Part of this is out of politeness for your guest. This is like putting away you phone when you are having lunch with a friend. The other part is to talk with adventure. Learn as much as you can about the characters, setting, and conflict. When you think you have enough information, ask if you can get your writing supplies. Only when adventure agrees should you start writing. Then you will get the story flowing with the help of adventure. From there enjoy the trip and don’t forget your towel.
A new story idea comes along and the typing goes along at a rapid rate. Then it becomes necessary to save the document and of course the computer wants a title. This can be easy or this can be next to impossible. You may know where the story is going and thus have a title. The title may have come with the idea. Or you can stare at the save menu for half an hour before giving up and naming the document after the main character just so that you can move on to other things.
This is similar to getting stuck in the writing process in that sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn’t. If it doesn’t then sometimes you have to finish the story before you understand enough of what it is about to find the title. Other times you have to sit down and make a list of possible titles. The list is every title that comes to mind when thinking about the story. Then find someone that you trust to help you. It works best if the person has read the story. Go through the list with them and see if you can pick one title that is better than the rest. If there is no title among the list, it is time to brainstorm with the person. The list can make a good starting point for that. Hopefully from there a title shows up.
I enjoy fairy tales, all fairy tales from the Grimm’s originals to Disney’s sanitized. They are fairly simple and fun. Usually there was a lesson mixed in. The good guys always won and the bad guys were tricked into their own punishment. There was a plot, memorable characters, and usually a part that was funny. And even as an adult they are entertaining.
My first book, The King’s Ransom, is very much based on my love of fairy tales. The original outline was simple and the story was supposed to be as short as a fairy tale. For my second attempt at NaNoWriMo I thought having an outline would help ma and I found that one. The rest of the story grew from there. However, elements that I enjoy from fairy tales remain. The good guys win, there is a plot, memorable characters, and moments that make you laugh.
I continued those similarities in the second and third books in the series. For Wealth and Glory incorporated more of the magical elements than The King’s Ransom. Closing the Portal included the magic and the quest based adventure. The fourth book, which is due out in April, contains the plot, memorable characters, and funny parts, but is not the same type of adventure. This time the king’s quest is very much at home.
So, if you like the Disney versions check out the original Grimm’s. If you like the original Grimm’s check out some fantasy novels like the ones above.