Monday, October 22, 2012

Never mind the plot, just get me through the setup

Yeek, ten more days until November. I still don't have a title for my NaNo novel, nor names for the characters, nor names for the places, nor the main plot worked out. Also, I just realized I forgot to do "research" for this story, by which I mean shopping for books for my overflowing shelves! Darn. Well, the ones I already acquired in previous years will have to do. (Plus Google, of course.)

So what do I have so far? Three characters stolen from previous stories, a fantasy version of the world stolen from an old RPG campaign I ran, also used in the previous NaNo stories, a handful of new characters made up for this year's story, an old TV show I'm ripping off ("Sapphire and Steel"), a new TV show I'm ripping off ("活佛济公/Legend of Crazy Monk"), and a stronger version of "ICA=ICC" ("In character actions = In character consequences" as used in online RPGs) which is supported by the way the gods/magic work in this story.

In theory, all I have to do is set up the right initial conditions, and then everything will run by itself to the inevitable yet surprising conclusion.

*keeps a straight face for about five seconds*


No, actually, I do need to have some kind of plan. It takes me a long time to think up "well, what would be the most fitting consequence for that, then?" It's easier in a game, when I don't have to figure out what every side is thinking and planning (if I'm lucky, I only have to deal with one character at a time!) If I write in too much of a hurry, the barriers between different characters break down and everyone suddenly knows everything and thinks the same thing. Not the same as ME having a mental breakdown, but still bad for the story.

So I need to make some notes on what each character is doing (in each life) and what they're trying to achieve. Some of them are working for others: I need to keep track of their motivation, secrets, knowledge, current set of memories, and what lies they're telling. There's always the "why me" questions to be answered, too. I'm not having any Chosen Ones, except in the sense of "you're the next name on the list/next in seniority, it's your turn now!"

Never mind writing pointless blog posts about it. Time to go jot down a few more ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Last year was easier. I was ready by this point. This year I am looking at blogs about not being ready...

    As for the writing, I seriously need to allow more suspense this year, and not to have all conflict resolved within a scene. Sigh.