24 May, 2023

back at it

 I'm writing again. I'd forgotten the sensation of feeling my way through the plot with only the vaguest idea of what's coming. I mean, there's a general plot in mind. A plan, if you will. An intention.

It's not that I can't think more than a chapter ahead in detail, it's that I don't want to. The kind of granular detail I want in a Google map I absolutely do not want in my storytelling process. I know the preferred terms are plotter and panster, but I think it's less about being carried along by the plot than it is about discovering it. Like...like a dungeon crawl. Or unlocking the map on a new level of a video game. What's over here? What's that? What does this do? If I know, then... eh? Why am I doing this?

(Then there's the debacle of Windscar's first draft, that I wrote to an outline and then trashed. Maybe I'm just crap at plotting.)

But let's stick with the dungeon-crawl metaphor. I think the close focus I keep on where I am putting my next literary foot is definitely reflected in the kinds of stories I tell. Generally short duration in-world, tightly focused, totally up in a character's head. That style makes it harder to do big sweeping epics. I think Rory worked--not as an epic, exactly, but the story spanned years--because I had an omniscient narrator. 

Someday I will try to write a single POV novel. Maybe even a first-person. And someday I may try out some of that postmodern fluidity of time and linearity. 

This, however, will not be that novel. 


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