Thursday, July 17, 2008

RBS thoughts ...

When I started writing this story, I thought I'd fall flat on my face - no plans? No plot? No effing characters? Madness! It was bound to fall to pieces within a week!

So, three-and-a-half weeks later and I'm still writing and posting, and I've got a glimmer of an idea about how this story could develop. Though the current Big Problem is that I haven't been writing much over the past couple of days (I've been trying to let each section stew for a few days before being revised and posted so as to make the reading experience a bit more bearable), the main reason being that while I can sort of see the bigger picture thingie, the details of how to realise the bigger picture thingie keep tripping me up. For instance:

- while I'm liking the characters, I seem to have killed half of them off before doing anything interesting with them. Not a great problem, thanks to the pretty stones-and-metal-band McGuffin which I can use to ressurect (some of) the characters, and there's always Ye Olde Flashback technique for developing the N's history with (for example) Bull. But I am a bit worried that the churn rate of characters may be a little too fast - distracting - for the reader

- where's the baddies? Where's the danger? I've been playing on an unnamed, unknown threat for over 13k words now and I'm not sure it would be a good idea to keep the reader in the dark any longer about what that threat is. Except (of course) I haven't yet decided on who the baddies are and what the threat is. I'm as much in the dark as the N on that point

- talking about baddies, what about the good guys? Is Kal (the N) good or bad? Currently he's a bit of a callous bugger with a big, unknown backstory. But is he a hero, a villain or a commentator? I don't know yet, though I think I can put off making that decision for a few weeks

- Sam. Dear, dear Sam. With his youthful looks and toned body he is so obviously a Marty-Stu that it's hard for me to write about him without blushing in shame. Maybe that's why I'm torturing him so much at the moment. Sam is, I feel, a big danger to this story; I'm going to have to keep him on a short lead until I decide what his role is going to be in the bigger story

- vampires: baddies, or tools, or a big fat red herring? I worried about mentioning vampires given the baggage that comes with them - will the reader get the point that these vampires feed off a person's energy, not their blood?

- the band - it's not really a McGuffin, nor a Deus ex machina, but what sort of plot device do I want it to be? I'm still undecided about whether the worlds it contains are only visited in dreams and flashbacks, or whether to send Kal (and Sam?) to one (or more) of those worlds as the story develops. Should I be capitalising The Band in the text to make it feel more ominous?

- 1st person present(ish) POV: it's a bugger to write, very constraining. I'm tempted to insert passages from other POVs, but have resisted so far. I don't know if staying with Kal is damaging the story or not

Worries, worries. Ah, heck! It's all a learning experience. Nobody's reading this, so nobody's being damaged by my uncertainties and indecisions. And I'm only writing this to stall myself from making the next big decision: what's the threat, Rik; what's it all about?

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