Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lost in the Labyrinth

First off, happy Independence Day. Or, if you're not in the US, happy Tuesday.

Camp NaNo: July Edition has begun. I've thrown myself, half-assed, whole-heartedly into it. As per usual.

I kind of have a plot. I'm still working on an outline. I'd like it to be a little more sketched out before I get too far into the story, but we can't always get what we want. I'd have to actually know where it's going in order to draw out a road map.

Right now, my biggest concern is that my occult detective has some occult skills. Of some kind. I don't actually know what they are. He finds things, somehow. That's why Miss DeWitt hires him. She knows the Lower World, to a degree, but it's a labyrinth down there. She needs him to narrow down the search. But I don't know how he does it. That seems kind of important, doesn't it?

Honestly, thrilling as pantsing the whole thing is, I really think I need to migrate into more of a planning state of mind. Some people can pull off making up the entire story as they go along. They have maybe a vague idea, and they just go for it, spontaneous magic flowing from their fingers. I… am not one of those people. I never thought I was a planner. I didn't think I needed an outline to guide me through the bramble of plot possibilities. But after actually making an outline and following it, I have realized that I really do need that kind of guidance.

So I do need to take a day and try to whip up an outline. But an outline is not just one sequence of events. If you recall my outline for my last project, I had the plot points of the story following the arc across the top. Then, across the bottom, was the change in Jake's outlook as the story progressed. His character arc, as it fit within the greater framework of the story.

We'll need to do something like that for this as well. There are several strands that need to be woven together. There's the main plot, that is, the search for Harry DeWitt and his team. Then there's the character arcs for each of the two main characters: The Explorer's Daughter, Catherine DeWitt, and The Occult Detective, Nick Blackburn (yes, he has a name now, a proper pulp detective name). Then there's the romantic arc that entangles those two together.

At the moment, they've just met, and they're not getting along very well. Nick is… not a people person, I would say. But before long they're going to be wandering around in the dark together, so we'll see how that goes. There's not a lot for them to do for most of the time they're down there, so they'll probably have to start talking eventually, and by association, get to know each other.

Then it's probably going to turn into a Tarantino movie, with pointless conversation followed by gratuitous bloodshed. I'm trying really hard not to kill or maim anyone anymore, but it's a work in progress.

That's it for today. I'll see you Friday.

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