Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trying to Put Things in Order

It's a late post again today. See, usually I write the post the day before, but yesterday I was trying to clean out my spare room. Largely that consisted of going through a big heavy box of old school papers, and moving what I wanted to save into a smaller, less heavy box, and then adding all my recent school papers to it. This left me with a pile of textbooks that needed to go on the shelf. Yes, I keep my old textbooks. The interesting ones, anyway. I sold my Finite Mathematics book the first chance I got.

Anyway, this led me to the realization that I need to rearrange my books. My fiction bookcase is overflowing, and my nonfiction is not sorted according to the Library of Congress system (which bothers me). So it's like a huge ongoing process. And I found a poem about bookends that is probably from my time working at the library:
Where, oh where, have all my bookends gone?
Books fall haphazardly, with nothing to lean on.
This lack of stability and sanity depends
Upon the tragic loss of all of my bookends.
But you didn't come here for that.

NaNoWriMo starts in three weeks. That means I'd better get a clue about a plot. What I really need to ask is: What does my character want, and how can I screw that up for him?

But what does a fifty-some year old vampire want? Perhaps the better question would be, what did want back before he joined the ranks of the mostly dead, that he can no longer attain? Is there something he's been trying to get back to?

I don't have answers to these questions, which is probably why I don't have a plot.

You know, I've mentioned before how the most depressing thing to me is having nowhere to go home to. It's like the sky is too big and you're just going to fall right off the earth. It just occurred to me that Des Mackenzie, as far as the rest of the world knows, died in a plane crash in November 1989. And there's no going back home when you're supposed to be dead. He's just… wandering. He's not even a real person anymore. So maybe what he wants is some place to belong.

I don't know, maybe that's stupid.

But if we follow that idea, maybe he thinks this place with the ice cream shop is a good place for him. And maybe I can ruin that. Maybe the locals figure out that there are vampires among them. Maybe someone (or something) is messily murdering the locals, and he falls under suspicion.

What I really need to figure out is structure. What form is this narrative going to take? There's the oft-touted Hero's Journey, but it's really not the be-all-end-all of narratives that it claims to be. And it doesn't fit for me. There are other structures, that I'm looking into, but they all require key points in the action (inciting incidents and climaxes and whatnot) to be put in the little spots. And at the moment I don't have any of those. So outlining is kind of hard.

Stay tuned for when I actually know what I'm doing.

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