Friday, March 09, 2007

Fail to prepare...

I woke up at five this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I wanted to get started on the third story of my novel today and my mind kept picking at it, so I finally gave up on a snooze and set up camp in front of my laptop.

As it's a Friday I decided to give myself an easy day of it. So I worked on the structure, finalised the premise and wrote short backstories on each character.

I keep each structure quite basic really, just a step by step outline of the story's plot. Conflict is king in my book, so I wanted to put the characters in an unsatisfactory situation from which they could not immediately escape. Both characters have different motivations which create conflict, but the situation forces them to put their trust in each other against their better judgement. At the end the characters change their previous perceptions and regain control of their lives.

The premise is the point that I'm trying to make or prove within the story. For example 'unrequited love leads to suicide' or 'nobility leads to loneliness'. Everything that happens in the story leads to this resolution.

I find character backstories useful because it prevents plot holes in my writing and makes the character's behaviour more believable and realistic. I want the characters to drive the story as much as the plot so a bit of initial work on their upbringing and motivation really helps my writing along.

Even with this preparation the story can veer off in another direction than I originally planned. I reckon this isn't necessarily a bad thing as I don't want my writing to become rigid or formulaic. Does mean that I'll have to do a lot of rewriting later though. Damnit.

Later this evening Ours and I are heading to a the Royal Oak pub in Kilmainham to say bon voyage to Pixie cut. Next week she'll begin her year-long career break to South America and perhaps beyond. Lucky cow.