notes

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:31 pm
marycatelli: (Default)
It is useful to take notes on future paths for the story, IF --

You remember to consult them later.

It is very annoying to do so after several weeks of trying to figure out how to get the heroine to do something risky to look back and realize that I had made a note of the perfect motive, which would not only get her acting, but tie back into the other plot thread, AND put a time limit on her decision. 
marycatelli: (A Birthday)
So I throw in an uncle into the story.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Once was at a SF con panel where a panelist held forth at length on the necessity of making the villain's motive clear, human, and understandable.
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marycatelli: (Baby)
In the backstory, there was this man.  He went through seven wives, hoping for an heir.

During that time, he married my heroine's mother.  Then he repudiated her because her dowry had been enchanted and so falsified.  Then she had a baby.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
"'Begin at the beginning,' the King said gravely, 'and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'"

Perhaps good advice when describing your morning or something, but not when writing a story.  Because you do not start with whatever you choose.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
There are few better ways to introduce information in dialog that to introduce a character who doesn't know it.

Still, it has its limitations.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
An article in which E. E. "Doc" Smith discusses writing, and the trade-off of elements -- characterization slows down a story, background material is worse, and philosophy worst of all.  Yet you need them to make the story deeper.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
So our hero distracts the bad guys, the heroine sneaks in and rescues some prisoners, and the villainess orders some executions as a consequence.  Not of guilty men, not even of carelessness.  The heroine's use of magic showed something the villainess really wishes wasn't true.

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marycatelli: (Galahad)
On one hand, we have our hero.  On the other hand, we have the politics about him.

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marycatelli: (Strawberries)
How do you build an intricate fantasy world that holds up to intensive fan interrogation?

The first points I think of are -- what are the stories that let you have such a world?  Since, after all, you can make it as intricate as you like without the fans ever getting wind of it.
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Part of [livejournal.com profile] bittercon
marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Ah, the stealing of notions.  How much fun it is.  How much work it takes, filing off the serial numbers before the story is your own. . . .

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marycatelli: (Galahad)
Odd thing in my reading lately:  a number of stories making good use of feudal, or almost feudal, loyalties.

Now, there's no denying that this makes a wonderful plot device for supplying even a down-and-out noble with forces and cannon fodder in general, who are willing to do the difficult or impossible in aid of the noble.

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marycatelli: (Baby)
Got thrown out of a pseudo-medieval-setting book recently. . . the heroine didn't want to get married.  Her friend laughed at the very notion, but no, she didn't want to. . .

And this in a culture where she might as well have said that she didn't want to curtsey to the king.

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marycatelli: (Galahad)
A royal ceremony is attacked by monster.

Politics are behind it.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Just because you have monsters loose in the land, doesn't mean that whenever the story stalls, you can have another one attack.

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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: (Golden Hair)
Of all the fictional libraries I've read of, I would most like to visit the one in Robin McKinley's Beauty.  It doesn't have much competition.

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