MusingsWritersWriting

Upping the Ante

I have a…well I hesitate to call it a flaw exactly, but I have a consistent kind of problem with my stories that is a direct result of my method of thinking about the story.  Whereas my crit partner tends to think about things from the end and works backward to seed things, I usually start with the beginning, the root and I don’t always know how that’s going to play out.  So I often end up with a bit of drag in the middle and final third of my stories as I’m actually writing them because there are generally important details I haven’t managed to figure out yet.  This happened with HiS in that I didn’t know what the trials were until…well I was about right on top of them.  Once I figured it out, I needed to go back and seed some things in the beginning.  Which was okay.  It didn’t really change all that much, just added stuff.

I’ve run into the same problem with the novella.  In this case, I started with a circumstance that I didn’t know the reasons for.  And not knowing the reasons for it has made it really difficult to figure out how the ending unfolds.  I had the kernel of an idea about the why of it last night, about where it started.  But Pot couldn’t really help me because she couldn’t really see the point of it and where it was going.  We approach things from total opposite ends, which sometimes makes it very difficult to brainstorm together.  I have to know the beginning in order to get to the end.  I’m sure that has something to do with my very linear brain and the fact that I like to start at one point and spin out to see all the possibilities about how that one point affects everything that comes after.  And I guess that means that I often mentally go down a lot of wrong paths before I strike on the right one.

The handy thing about having a CP who thinks so differently from me is that she often asks questions I haven’t thought to ask myself and that usually helps me get to the right point.  This morning we finally nailed on exactly the circumstances that set up the situation my hero finds himself in, explains why he’s lost his abilities, gives a way more interesting character arc and personal conflict to the heroine, and actually allows both of them to play a significant role in the end.  It ups the ante all the way through, which will make for a better, more solid story.  I’ve been making notes on all the things I need to go back and seed, and thankfully it is more addition rather than subtraction or flat out change.  Yay!  It definitely gives me something vital I was missing and will, I think, make the end section easier to write.

2 thoughts on “Upping the Ante

  1. I know how you feel 🙂 I write from beginning to wherever the snippets take me, and sometimes need to leap ahead to figure stuff, jump back to correct/ante up earlier scenes, and then write in all the linking bits, once I really know what’s going on. Fun, though!
    By the way, how did you get this lovely snow?

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