Monday, September 26, 2011

The NaNo Goddess Cometh

And as such, I choose to pay her tribute. This will be my first official November NaNo here with this blog and all of you, my lovelies. I know that I won't be able to keep up with my blogging schedule come November time, but I can make some posts.

My hope is that I'll be able to get some of you all to kindly post here, too. That doesn't mean I expect it to happen, but I would be remiss to try. If you prefer not to post for me, you can sit back and watch other posters gallivant about my blog. I'll try and keep you all updated as to just who will be stopping by.

If you're interested in doing a post for me, drop me a line at sted1354 @ gmail dot com.

Peace, love, and chicken grease,
Voss

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Grandest of Schemes

When authors sit down to do their pre-work on a new project, they find themselves doing a lot of jumping and, if they're anything like me, talking, pacing, and scribbling, just to work out the details of this whole new thingy.

I've noticed that a lot of people that don't write, think we have these grand ideas that start off our novels, that the seeds are diamonds encrusted with gold and dipped in melted silver. They, however, are wrong. Ideas start as something supremely shallow and odd, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, something to the tune of: I want a story with an awesome guild of knights who are awesome.

Of course, no one else needs to know that's where we start.

Next comes the writing two-step: research and planning. Before we write word one, we find ourselves lost, not knowing squat about military strategy. So we read Sun Tzu's "Art of War", the equivalent of Cliffnotes on the subject (really, it's not even fifty pages, I don't think).

Then we realize, "Oh dear, why is my emperor trying to do all of this in the first place? It can't be jsut bcause he wants to rule the world--that's just boring." And we psychologically profile him, finding that he believes whatever he believes that makes him do this.

Next we make maps.

We work out the wealth of each and every country.

We find out the military force available to any one group.

We psychoanalyze their leaders.

We look at the natural resources and major exports of every nations.

And.

And.

And.

You get the picture. Why post this? To inspire others to break the rules along with me: NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and I think, at least for people that have done it before, it's toime to go balls deep into the next project. So, I invite you to join me and begin planning your next work now...besides, it's only a little (a lot) more than the one week planning deadline given in the official rules, right?

Happy novelling,
Voss

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Continuity

We've all heard about keeping story continuity, so I won't be talking about that. Perhaps a better title would have been tightness...I digress.

I was watching The Princess Bride, a triumph of media, and for the first time I started noticing how little wasted space there is in that movie. Now, I'm a hideous lech and haven't read the book, but in the movie they waste nothing. From moment one we're introduced to the running line, "As you wish." It grows from there. I won't cover everything, but at the end, we see the six-fingered man that Inigo was searching for ftom the beginning, and they finally ahve their duel, the turning point of the entire movie for me--it's also one of the best examples of this tightness I've seen.

We know, from the start, a few things about the relationship between Inigo and the Count:
The Count killed Inigo's father.
Inigo inherited his father's sword.
The Count left scars on Inigo's cheeks.
Inigo will say "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." when he meets the six-fingered man.

By the end of this battle, everything has been touched upon:
Inigo killed the Count.
He used his father's sword to do it.
He left matching scars on the Count's cheeks (not to mention giving him all the same wounds he received in the course of the battle.).
That phrase (see above, as I don't feel like retyping it.) drives the Count mad during the battle and empowers Inigo.

And that's a small portion.

It all seems to be so very tiny, a thing here or there, but isn't that what separates good from great? Great from classic? Classic from Don Quixote?

Feeling tight,
Voss