Friday, February 19, 2010

The Twelve Part Outline, Part III

The third part of the twelve part outline, following Establishment and Incitement, is Challenge. I define this section as "minor antagonists are put into play". The protagonists aren't going to face the Big Bad, not yet. They may not even know there IS a big bad. But whatever path the protagonist is on, thanks to the Incitement, leads them to some trouble. More or less, what I've done is introduce the protagonist, and prod him to action, and now we see what problems they have because of that.

Now, this can take a lot of forms. In Thorn of Dentonhill, it's mostly physical-- Veranix pursuing the drug dealers cracking down on them. In Holver Alley Crew, it's more cerebral-- planning the first robbery they are going to do together. For Maradaine Constabulary, it's a bit of both-- Katrine and Minox trying to question people who have no intention of cooperating with the constabulary inspectors.

For some examples you might be more familiar with, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, this is Indy going to Tibet to get the amulet from Marion. Or in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy and Elsa in Venice, searching for the Knight's tomb.

In the grand scheme of things, this is still the small potatoes, though to the protagonists, and even the minor antagonists, it may not seem like it. It can be life or death for them. They just don't know how bad things can get. Yet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some inspirational pic-links

Sometimes I just like to surf online artwork to inspire ideas. I'm not saying these WILL inspire ideas I'll use... but I definitely like them.

Starships approaching planet.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Infested with Brain Buzzes

My brain is always buzzing with ideas. Else I wouldn’t be a writer, and there wouldn’t be much point to this whole thing, would there?

But sometimes, even when I need to be focusing my creative energy on something specific (in the case of here and now, working on Maradaine Constabulary), the Brain Buzzes go crazy and it’s nigh impossible to work on what I should. Until I spend a little bit of time cultivating the New Idea, it’s not going to leave me alone.

Usually cultivation involves a bit of worldbuilding, character creation or outlining. I do some notes, and that’s usually enough to quiet my brain, set those ideas in the back of my head to ferment into something more cohesive, and get back to work.

This week, though, there’s been a LOT of Brain Buzzing.

  • A new idea I’ll just call The Heroine Project for now. It’s little more than a vague idea.
  • Reworking the history of Banshee-verse to expand the exploration of our solar system. I blame watching Defying Gravity for this one.
  • Finishing the scripts for Triple Cross.

So I’ll be working on those things, hopefully that will quiet the buzzing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wrting Environments

The environment I write in is a crucial factor to how effective any given writing session can be. For one, I do better when in a public place, like a bookstore or cafe. Having a (habitually refilled) coffee or tea also helps a lot.

But there's more to the environmental factors. I need music, preferably by headset, to quit the rest of the world and occupy the parts of my brain that don't help when I'm writing.

Also important is being able to achieve a state of relaxed creativity. It takes a bit of time to get into the groove. One of my biggest problems is I need a good two-three hours to really get good work done. The first hour is usually something of a wash. I'm still working on how to make that first hour as good as the second and third.

But most of all, I need to be able to think. January is a bad time for that, because of seasonal allergies in this town. Cedar fever kills my brain in a sinus fog. Allergy medicine leaves me a functional zombie-- I can do most things, save write. It's very frustrating.

Thus you note the dearth of posts I made in January. Fiction writing was similarly held back. I've made some progress on the second draft of Holver Alley Crew (namely transcribing notes from my paper copy to electronic form), and inched forward with Maradaine Constabulary. That one, I can tell when the rough draft is done, it's going to be a rough draft.