Thinking Inside The Box

In the realms of creativity, you don’t often hear someone tell you to think INSIDE the box.  Usually creativity is about finding new and interesting solutions/spins–going where few have gone before (I’d say no man, but we all know that there is no such thing as a new story).  I am great at thinking outside the box.  I can think of fifteen different ways I could change a story and turn it into a whole new book.  Often more.  Some of my underbed graveyard manuscripts have been unlimited variations on the same story.  In the past, when something wasn’t working about a story, I usually tried to rewrite it rather than revise it.  It wasn’t conscious usually, just how my brain tackled revisions.  A lot of that was due to my really not understanding what wasn’t working.  And frankly, it’s easier to completely re-envision a story than to analyze what’s really wrong with it. It’s certainly more fun.

I’ve been fighting this tendency regarding HiS.  Some of the changes I’ve considered will, I think, make it a stronger book.  In following the ripples of the change I want to make in Marley’s motivation, the first five or six ideas I considered essentially meant writing a whole new book.  While I”m not afraid of such an undertaking (been there, done that), I really would like to try to find a way to work within the bounds of the story I have created.  I want to think INSIDE that box.

On the surface, that feels incredibly limiting.  I’m trying to reframe my thinking about it as more like a sonnet or a haiku.  Both have specific rules about form, but total freedom within those boundaries.  So I’m setting myself the task of identifying what those boundaries are.

I want to keep my villain.  He needs strengthening and fleshing out, but I’ll keep him.  I want to keep his Machievellian subplot for knocking off the current Alpha to open up that position in the pack.  I’m willing to change how he does it.  I want to keep the fact that Conall must enter the race for Alpha to save Marley.  I may be willing to change some of what he has to do in order to do that.  Within the framework of the story I’ve created, there is some broader metaplot that will affect the entire series that needs to be introduced.  I’m thinking I’ll be tying that to my villain.  I have another subplot that needs strengthening somehow (I haven’t decided how yet).  I really ought to go through my notes from the last read through I made and figure out how I can tie some of these things together.  Maybe tomorrow while hubby is tied up with other things.

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