Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Rediscovering a Story

Well, Camp NaNo has come to an end. For April, anyway. We'll be back at it in July or whenever the next one is. So what's next?

Now, it might seem from my cavalier attitude that I just toss projects aside as I finish them. Oh, there's a rough draft down, let's bin it and move on. That's not exactly true. I do set them aside when they're "done." For distance. For space. We need some time apart, so I'll let it stew on the hard drive while I run around with other plots. But I'll come back. Eventually.

If you've been here since the beginning, or you've recently binged the old posts, you might remember a post series called Finding a Story. You can read Part One here or see all the posts in the series here. Basically, I took a story prompt and went bit by bit walked through the process of turning that into a story.

And it's been rolling around in my head lately. I can tell you exactly why. I had a post a bit ago about leitmotifs. A work, like a movie or a play, will get you to associate a piece of music with a character or whatever. I also mentioned in that post that I make soundtracks for my stories. And so then when I hear that music later, I think of that story. In this case the music is Demon Hunter's "I Am a Stone," which I associate with the character from that story. I don't exactly know why. It just does. I don't question it. So every time I hear it, I think of that story.

Now, that story never turned out quite right, so maybe it's time to try to make sense of it. With an outline! I could figure out the central conflict, and the plot points, and the character arc. And it's a pretty short story, so maybe it would be good practice, before I throw myself into a new massive project like a novel or something equally ill-advised. I have a vague idea of where it should go, so…

I could do that, or I could have a crack at a whole new story, in a whole new genre. I do want to try out something completely new, but I have no idea what. I have a huge list of genres to choose from. I'm going to try to add a poll to the right sidebar so you can vote on what I should try next. Once I figure it out, I'll probably leave it up for a few weeks so people get a chance to vote.

I guess in the meantime I'll try to outline that story from last year and try to force it into some semblance of structure. Maybe I can make something of it. You know, I think one crazy new thing I should try is to write a story where I don't kill everyone. That would be a wacky change, wouldn't it? I swear I'm not a violent person in real life. I don't know why I write like that.

Okay, I'll see you Friday. I'll try not to murder anyone in the meantime.

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