marycatelli: (Default)
There's a shipwreck.  With my heroine and her companions on the ship.

Now, is it just before the story opens, or does it open the story?
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marycatelli: (Default)
When opting for stirring up a story with Chandler's rule, I always have to decide what, exactly, is the man coming through the door with a gun in his hand.

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marycatelli: (Galahad)
In one respect, Amber is much more epic than Lord of the Rings.   It involves scads upon scads of worlds, and their fate.

It doesn't feel like it.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
If you just let characters spring up on their own, the muse may decide to make them all too similarly.  So sometimes they need to be consciously dragged apart.

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marycatelli: (Galahad)
Prequels are dangerous because you are boxed in by what went before. Sometimes even when it's long before, so that things don't have to go to hell in a handbasket to start up the sequel.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
You start with what you start, when developing a story.  But some starting points are more productive of story ideas than others.

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marycatelli: (Strawberries)
You shouldn't slap a significant detail into a story and then forget about it.  If you give a character background and motivations, the readers expect that character to be more than wallpaper for one scene, if you have a newspaper and mention titles, the readers expect at least one article to be significant, if you plant a gun in the scene, the readers expect it to be fired -- and by the end of Act 3.

That  goes for themes too.  Some issues can be touched on -- just as some details can , but others need to be grappled with, or ignored entirely.

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marycatelli: (Cat)
and things and states. . . .

Liminality is the state of being between two states.  Like transitioning from one year to the next.
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stalling

May. 28th, 2014 11:28 pm
marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Sometimes you just know that the events of the story that you know about have to be farther off in the future.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
If you have an idea for a setting, and it's wild, or wacky, or wonderful enough to hold the reader's attention, it is at least at first easy enough to invent some characters, give them some excuse to move about, and set them loose.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Plodding along on the outline's opening and middle, and every so often the muse hops up with "What about this?  Wouldn't this be neat?"  And at first, sure, throw it in, as long as it feels like the same story. . . .

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Send the heroine brightly out into an enchanted world, filled with marvels and horrors, and let her wander. . . .and start to wonder yourself how to tie things up.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Women sitting in a  room -- sewing, I think.  Some embroidery.  One is weaving, but she is weaving a great tapestry, a storied web.  (The spinning and weaving are, I think, done by more magcially mechanical means.)

Riders in dark armor riding through a leafless and snowy woods.

A man seeking a golden flower which may not be in the lands where he seeks it -- though it is definitely not in the lands where he came from.

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marycatelli: (Galahad)
Which, in certain respects, a story I'm working on is not.  I blame C. S. Lewis, with his observations on the form in A Preface to Paradise Lost -- that its modern meaning derives from Virgil, not Homer, because Virgil was the one who made it a matter of world-shaking events.

Which is where epic fantasy picks it up.  Lord of The Rings certainly deals with world-shaking events; win or lose, nothing was going to be the same after the war.

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