marycatelli: (Rapunzel)
Ah, the perils of a fantasy bildungsroman. Here's our heroine. She can turn into a dove. She has classmates who can turn into swans, and one into a peahen.

And they are all growing up.
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structure

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:50 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles.

Aristotle
marycatelli: (Baby)
Writing along, realizing that if the little sister knew about what the older sister might be able to do with superpowers, the next thing she would be doing would be bugging her about it.

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marycatelli: (Default)
So, how do you fight a supervillain whose superpower is the ability to transmute elements?

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marycatelli: (Default)
There's one thing about piecing together a story, whether from vignettes or other visions.

At some point, you have to sit down and pick out the shape.  Random events do not a story make.  Especially in random order.

And if you don't watch out, you might write the same scene three times and have to throw out two.   Or maybe twist the plot to get them in, if you're lucky.
marycatelli: (Default)
Once upon a time, I wrote a story. It was about something that happened to a young man while he was camping by an unused road.

Which meant he had to have a reason to be there. A reason that wouldn't clutter up the story too much and that could tie into the ending.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Reading Phoebe And Her Unicorn from the beginning, online, is -- interesting.

You see, after several years, it got launched as a newspaper comic.  Which meant a whole pile of new readers had to be introduced from the start.

Some repeat comics, some using the same gag, some comics depicting the same events -- a distinct tendency to compress into one or two comics something that was a whole story arc earlier.  Like the spelling bee arc that introduced Max.
marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Sometimes a character is given a fixed number of things:  this will take you through twelve worlds, you will have to collect seven fragments of the relic, there are four tests to pass to be the champion.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
I began an outline, as I begin so many, with only the vaguest ideas about what would happen next.  That is, after all, why I outline, to make sure that something does happen next. . . .

Amazing, how much I mentally revised without actually changing the outline.  It comes out very clearly when I go to actually write the outline.
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marycatelli: (Cat)
Was poking at a story again, trying to work out the climax.

Then I remembered the earlier incident I had put in, where the hero had spotted a nasty piece of blood magic.  Which I left dangling.

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marycatelli: (Baby)
Still haven't named him for sure, but I know when his birthday is.
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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Writing one's vignettes in a coherent world can give you ideas. Both for the vignettes and for interesting plot twists.

But sooner or later, you have sit down and plot the thing.  They will not sort of stick together and form a beginning, a middle, and an end.

And sometimes you need to to devise over-arching things.  Like the motives of the main villains.
marycatelli: (A Birthday)
Was working on a story with an obvious end, but an equally obvious "to be continued" sign on that ending.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
So some events happen in one scene:  characters, students of magic, magically hide something for other students to find.  Next scene, the other studentsare talking about what to do about it, and I go -- errrr. . . .  I need to break this up.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
A Dark Lord or other such Evil Force is a nice unifying thing for a story, and still more a series.  However many minions he has, however many ramifications the plot has, the tale has a nice unity.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
I think the story started too late.  The heroine is about to have the great adventure -- but she's thinking in the past perfect too often, remembering a young woman lion tamer, how she came to the menagerie and learned it was a bad name, and more.  A warning sign, a dangerous one -- like putting a flashback in the first pages.  On the other hand. . . .
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marycatelli: (Cat)
Plugging around on my outline.  Massive fairy tale mash-up, avoiding all the top 20 pop tales.

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marycatelli: (A Birthday)
"Of all plots and actions the episodic are the worst. I call a plot 'episodic' in which the episodes or acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence." -- Aristotle

"When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." -- Raymond Chandler
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