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An original-writing update - Light One Candle

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August 16th, 2005


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01:36 pm - An original-writing update
This is what I get for writing a murder-mystery script.

I left it alone for while, because the third act wasn't coming together properly. When I went back and reread what I have of an outline, I discovered that I had unwittingly set up one of the background characters to be the "unexpected-but-actual" villain.

Ack.

Now I have to decide if that will work (part of my brain says, go on, use it!), or whether I need to rework a bunch of the first two acts as well.

Writing's fun. :-)
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable

(21 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 16th, 2005 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Hey, if you get a good twist, even unwittingly, go with it!

-JD
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From:kerravonsen
Date:August 16th, 2005 10:22 pm (UTC)
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Go for it! The worst that could happen is that it doesn't work, and you'd have to go rework. The best that could happen is that it would work.
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From:izhilzha
Date:August 17th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)
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Very true. I'm leaning more and more that way.
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From:whitemartyr
Date:August 16th, 2005 10:31 pm (UTC)
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You should be a fly in the wall to some of the crazy conversations happening between Scott and I on yahoo messenger right now!!

I say use it! But it depends on what you want to happen in the story...:p

Go Sarah go! Write write write!

I'm actually inspired to work on Fractured today...huh.
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From:izhilzha
Date:August 17th, 2005 12:22 am (UTC)
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I say use it! But it depends on what you want to happen in the story...:p

That's the small problem, I need my original villian as well--at least if motive/opportunity is to stay the same, or at least similar.

But I did wonder if there was an accomplice. This might not have been a one-person crime after all....
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From:vertigozooropa
Date:August 17th, 2005 12:05 am (UTC)

confused....

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So, you've found that your mystery has a red herring in it, and this is a bad thing?

Ack?

If you hadn't intended this person to be the killer, don't make them the killer now.

Well, unless you want to.

It just doesn't sound negative at all...
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From:izhilzha
Date:August 17th, 2005 12:09 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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LOL. Yeah, the creative part of my brain insists that this is the work of divine Providence, or somesuch thing.

It's the part of me that has been trying to plot all the details of the other red herrings that is balking at accepting this new twist.

In short, it's unsettling to realize that one's unconscious creativity may have a leg up on one's conscious ability to plot.
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From:whitemartyr
Date:August 17th, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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In short, it's unsettling to realize that one's unconscious creativity may have a leg up on one's conscious ability to plot.

LOL. Isn't it great being a writer? :p
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From:amberdulen
Date:August 17th, 2005 01:59 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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Ay-men. It's the most incredible thing to realize that things fit together when you never expected.

Good luck with the script!
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From:vertigozooropa
Date:August 17th, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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It shouldn't be. And if it is, boy are you in for a treat!

Let it happen, and your stuff could get WAY better.

Stephen King, by the way, starts his stories at the beginning, and he doesn't know what will happen until he writes it!
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From:izhilzha
Date:August 17th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)

Re: confused....

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It shouldn't be.

Shouldn't be unsettling? Okay, buddy, you may not think so, but I tend to have a fairly organized mind as far as writing goes. Particularly when I've been plotting this thing for a year.

Which isn't to say that this development is bad--just that it's a monkey wrench that will have to be accounted for.

More power to King. However, that technique honestly doesn't work when one is writing a mystery or a tight thriller, unless one is willing to do a million script-level rewrites. I'd rather rework the outline until the story/structure works before I even *touch* dialogue.
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From:whitemartyr
Date:August 17th, 2005 08:45 pm (UTC)

Re: confused....

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Isn't King writing mystery and thrillers? Or do you just mean because he's writing prose not script?

Would you ever think about just trying to 'free write' and see where it took you? Just as an exercise? I mean, even if you had to a million re-writes (see Fractured), at least you'd have something written down instead of just spinning around in your head? It might be something interesting to do, just to see what happens...(although I realize some of your fanfic stuff might be classfied as this, I mean with a script/original story)?

I say this just cuz you know how i feel about outlines (generally they get a big boo hiss), and because often what I write in 'summaries' of whatever sort, ends up coming out different when I go straight into actual story mode, and mostly better (mostly).

But in general...I say go with the subconcious red herring random set up stuff. Have fun. And let me know what happens. No wait don't cuz I want to read the script and I don't want to get spoiled. :p

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From:izhilzha
Date:August 17th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)

Re: confused....

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Isn't King writing mystery and thrillers?

King writes mostly horror with a dash of fantasy. Agreed, they sometimes play out like thrillers, but afaik, his stories are not the type of thriller where THE PLOT IS THE CENTER OF ALL (unlike, say, some of Michael Crichton's work). Also, King is *not* a murder-mystery writer. Those must be ridiculously well-plotted, in all the little details (like CSI, unless you've read Agatha Christie, in which case I refer you to her).

Would you ever think about just trying to 'free write' and see where it took you? Just as an exercise?

Ehhhhh.... I've done a couple of scenes for the script. Basically, 2 problems: 1) I have a ridiculously hard time doing free-form stuff in script. 2) That's another version of the reason why I hand-write most rough drafts. If it's in the computer, it looks too finished, and I have a harder time rewriting it, or even getting the rough draft out of my head.

To be honest, this goes for my fics, too, with the exception of my first CSI fic (which was a tiny character-study that had been stewing in my head for 3 weeks), and my Remus story Night's Candles, which took me 3 months to finished because I treated it like poetry and niggled over every sentence before proceeding to the next.

I have to know where I'm going, and the more detail I have beforehand, the easier the actual process is.

Yes, I understand that I may be slightly weird. :-D
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 17th, 2005 08:59 pm (UTC)

Re: confused....

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THE PLOT IS THE CENTER OF ALL (unlike, say, some of Michael Crichton's work).

Some of Crichton's early work tended to have some interesting asides that had little to do with the story. The Great Train Robbery, for instance, had loads of neat descriptive passages of parts of Victorian life...which on sudden retrospect almost always tied in with the story. Oops.

-JD
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 17th, 2005 09:00 pm (UTC)

Re: confused....

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THE PLOT IS THE CENTER OF ALL (unlike, say, some of Michael Crichton's work).

Some of Crichton's early work tended to have some interesting asides that had little to do with the story. The Great Train Robbery, for instance, had loads of neat descriptive passages of parts of Victorian life...which on sudden retrospect almost always tied in with the story. Oops.

-JD
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From:kerravonsen
Date:August 18th, 2005 03:25 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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1) I have a ridiculously hard time doing free-form stuff in script. 2) That's another version of the reason why I hand-write most rough drafts. If it's in the computer, it looks too finished, and I have a harder time rewriting it, or even getting the rough draft out of my head.

Interesting. I don't have a problem with computer vs handwritten -- in fact, I find it easier to revise stuff once it's in the computer, because it's much easier to edit then, and I can tweak to my heart's content.

I've never written scripts, so I can't tell whether I would find free-form harder to write in script, but, heck, I find it hard to "free write" full stop! I just freeze if I don't know where the story is going, like, some idea of the goal or end of the story.

That isn't to say that I write outlines, though. Not point-by-point ones. There may be an outline in my head, and sometimes that gets to paper to the degree of writing down, usually after I've written a number of scenes already, a list of scene-goals; that is, to say that I need a scene in which X happens, and another scene in which Character P learns about W, and so on.
But I only tend to do that with longer stories, and then usually only if I've been writing scenes out of order. It's more common for me to write the scenes in order, with a little "notes" file where I jot down snippets of dialogue and stuff which are intended for later scenes when I get to them. Sometimes the notes don't make it into the final story, though most of the time they do.

With my most recent story, Anaesthesia, I wrote the first few paragraphs (which sort of just flowed), and then I did heaps and heaps of brainstorming with a friend, to try to iron out the wrinkles in the plot before I actually wrote anything much else, wrote some more scenes, did some more brainstorming, wrote the last scene, and then it was relatively easy to fill in the gaps. This one being one where I wrote stuff out of order, I did have a few scene-goals as mentioned above.

Actually, I tell a lie: I do write outlines, if you consider jotting down plot points and making notes to be an "outline". But I don't tend to do a scene-by-scene breakdown, and that's more of a real outline than notes are.
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From:izhilzha
Date:August 19th, 2005 04:34 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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I don't have a problem with computer vs handwritten -- in fact, I find it easier to revise stuff once it's in the computer, because it's much easier to edit then, and I can tweak to my heart's content.

Actually, that sounds familiar. I like having the story in the computer for 2nd drafts on, when the tweaking I'm doing is on a smaller scale. But first/rough drafts, especially for longer stories, are my "lessons in what DOESN'T work". I usually try to write fast, get it all down, and wind up having loads of notes in the margins, things I thought up on the fly but didn't want to take the time to work into the scene right then becaues the inspiration was flowing. I can incorporate all that stuff when I do my re-draft into the computer.

Actually, I tell a lie: I do write outlines, if you consider jotting down plot points and making notes to be an "outline".

Most longer stories seem to require me to do some sort of outline, a scene-by-scene (or at least event-by-event) breakdown. But usually I just have a very basic sort of scene list, and then as I write each scene, I outline it in points in the top margin of my notebook page. This seems to work very well in terms of making sure that each scene does exactly what it should (ie, my writing's much tighter when I do this).

I *do* need an official outline for this particular script, btw, because I have to have something to show my writer's group, so they can help me fix any plot holes.
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From:kerravonsen
Date:August 18th, 2005 03:03 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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Shouldn't be unsettling? Okay, buddy, you may not think so, but I tend to have a fairly organized mind as far as writing goes. Particularly when I've been plotting this thing for a year.

Feel perfectly free to be unsettled. Not everybody writes the same way, and shouldn't.
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From:vertigozooropa
Date:August 18th, 2005 04:29 am (UTC)

Re: confused....

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It just makes more sense to me to go hunting in the wilds of the imagination, and bring back some strange and exotic concept, and then tame it and put it in a cage. A story should be a menagerie, a veritable zoo of new ideas.

Organization is good, but it isn't the whole of storytelling. It isn't even the main part.
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From:izhilzha
Date:August 18th, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC)

Re: confused....

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bring back some strange and exotic concept, and then tame it and put it in a cage.

Excellent metaphor.

And I do go out to hunt the strange and exotic concepts (this script, for instance, has a rather unusual setting--I'll email you if you really must know), but my training/taming methods are pretty organized, and the cage has to be both strong, sensible, and aesthetically pleasing. :-)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 17th, 2005 01:04 pm (UTC)

It's called . . .

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It's called "inspiration," hon. :-)

Or to quote Hannibal from "The A-Team"--I love it when a plan comes together.

Honest, my best stuff (you've read just about everything I've written, so if you want to know what, imo, is my best stuff, just ask . . . or check my fic page . . .) just "happens." And as my fingers are doing their own thing on the keyboard, my conscious brain is thinking, "Oh! This is so cool! Where the heck did that come from?" or "Oh, wow! This *so* works!"

My original short, I think I told you, just "happened." I'd been struggling to come up with a premise and outline for an assignment, which wasn't working the way I'd hoped, when someone shared a RL (or rumored RL) event with me. I completely scrapped all the preliminary work I'd done up to that point, sat down, and wrote the first draft of the new story--beginning to end--in a few hours. No outline, no notes, no nuthin'. (Of course, 3 years later it *still* hasn't reached it's final form . . . heh.)

So I say, have at! At the very least, you caught that red herring you were fishing for . . .

Inspiration and ice cream,
V.

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