Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Finding My Way Back To "The Door"
As you all know, for the past couple of months, I was pulled away from my writing by all the demands of my classes at the California State University of Monterey Bay. But now all of that is over, until next semester begins late next month/early February when it all starts up again... possibly, things may change before then. I'm up for a couple of job interviews which could change everything.
In any case, you'd think I would be eager to jump back into my writing right? Yes and no. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still in love with writing, but trying to awaken my muse has been hard. Being away from my writing for so long left me drained emotionally and mentally on the creative front. Plus there's been other things I had to deal with which also got pushed aside thanks to all the schoolwork.
Luckily a lot of that is done and I have more time to get back to writing, only I found I was stuck staring at "The Door" and not being able to do anything with it.
(NOTE: This is NOT the final design for the bookcover... still working on it)
Now before anyone mentions plotting, let me explain that I've always known where the final confrontation was going to take place and who'd be there. I could clearly see each of the characters who needed to be there having their own special moment. I even knew why they were there, but I couldn't figure out what they'd be doing DURING the fight. Most of the scenes I was picturing were aftermath moments, or pauses when the action moved elsewhere, so they had to be on hand. But what were they doing while the action was happening was puzzling me.
I tried turning it over again and again in my mind only to realize I was once more dealing with a mental version of my old nemesis the Rubik's Cube. Only this time it was more intimidating than ever before...
I began to feel like I'd never solve this problem. Again and again I'd start thinking I had the solution, because I could see the goal in the distance. I'd even make good progress towards getting there, but then I'd find myself hitting another wall. It was like wandering through the most frustrating maze I'd ever encountered.
Then yesterday, the breakthrough finally hit me. I needed to work on the final battle FIRST and then let the rest of the story follow. I had to place every character I wanted into that scene and find out for myself what they could/would/and finally did in that climactic moment. Only then could I justify to myself as well as the reader, why they needed to be in this story in the first place.
Now normally I don't usually work this way. I've always used a loose outline, like in this case, and knew where I was going and led the characters to that moment. Plus, I still needed to see what that final confrontation was going to look like for myself.
Immediately, I looked back at my own works "The Bridge" and "The Ship" and re-read the final battle scenes for each of them. I quickly realized I had a tendency to go for some pretty impressive battles, that seemed almost impossible for any person to win. But that's always been my philosophy in writing. The more daunting the odds, the more impressive the heroes are for overcoming them.
I would have to go big for this third installment, but not just in size. I had to deliver something new and special for the readers. I'd given them glimpses into some of the Para-Earths where my previous antagonists came from. This time I needed to show the readers WHY some of these being needed to be kept out of our world!
At that moment, I knew what I needed to do... it was time to open "The Door" and let the nightmares from one of those other places come through. With a threat of this magnitude in mind, I now know exactly how important it will be to have "All hands on deck", as well as how to utilize each and every character in that scene.
So there you have it folks, once again I say "There is no one specific to write a story". We each may have our own special methods of writing, but sometimes even those techniques may not always be enough. There will be days when we need to discover and add new tools to our already impressive arsenal.
I'm very eager and excited to get back to the story now. I know that working that final confrontation is going to make how I continue to write certain characters in earlier sections of the book much easier. I already knew their motivations for the most part, but I suspect I'll have better insight into their personalities because I'll have a more clear idea of just how far their willing to go for their ultimate goals.
Remember everyone, stories can take many paths. But in the end its the writer to must choose or forge the right one that will best serve the purpose in the end.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.