Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thunder Always Follows Lightning

Don't you love it when you are deep in revisions and lightning strikes?
That thing you just couldn't figure out is suddenly crystal clear. And it ties things up oh so nicely. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel all brilliant and sparkly.

A day or two goes by and this bolt of lightning has time to simmer and spread. It's still perfect, but...
something starts to nag at you.

Say for instance, you find a way to resolve a major problem in book 4 of your series. Its heart warming happy making while still being a bit sad. Its the perfect feeling you want. There's hope for the MC finding joy, but there's a built in distance/time frame to achieving it. That perfect bitter sweet sigh. But...
You start to ask yourself:
1. Am I taking the easy way out?
You answer no.
2. How am I going to pull that off?
3. How will each of these little technical details affect the delivery and final payoff?

And it's these details that roil and pound the inside of your head. Then you ask yourself:
4. Are all these details back story? Do I even need to know these details? Will anyone else care? Will someone put the book down and say, "Wait! Why is he a hatchling instead of a fully grown dragon?" *waves magic wand of confusion*
5. If he's fully grown how do I deal with the time differential between planetary travel? Will the worm hole portal be sufficient?
6. Who/how/when decides who ascends and who doesn't?

And on and on.

Suddenly that bolt of lightning is no longer beautiful and shiny because it has charred your brains. Maybe it isn't such a good idea after all and you should scrap the whole thing. But it feels right for this story.

Then you groan, tug out a few strands of hair and type a blog post because you need to know if you're completely crazy.

Question for you: When you are writing or plotting (which I'm actually doing!) how detailed to you get? Do those details drive you nuts?

Ya see, I worked out this elaborate spell with ingredients and everything for book one and I'm not even using it in the MS. I worked out all the rules of magic for book two and then moved some of them into book one. Now I'm trying to figure out the details of ascension in my universe. Am I over thinking this whole thing?

In other news, this is what I'm listening to in order to calm down a bit.