Previous blog entries have expounded upon the various influences and inspirations behind my writing style and the distractions and digressions that have resulted due to the aforementioned influences and inspirations. This week’s blog will expound (once again) on those two topics for the sheer reason that they are the source of the motivation and frustration with which I contend when embarking on this strange and awesome path that is called novel-writing. In fact, they are both enable and abet each other, forming a very interesting circle of life (as it were) when creating plots, characters and story arcs.
Inspirations for my characters, novel plots and narrative arcs come from various places, from the [mainly British] television I’ve watched (either via PBS or, more often that not, YouTube), musicals and plays I’ve seen, to video games and bits of conversations overheard at random places. These sources of inspiration can also be distractions from the writing process, as I sometimes become engrossed in various TV series or intensely focused on the RPGs on my Nintendo 3DS XL; of course, with my attention fixated on these distractions, they soon become inspirations, with the potential to dig myself out of the plot holes I tend to create, thus perpetuating the distractions/inspirations cycle.
With all the seemingly infinite possible paths my stories can take, whether it be on a micro level (within a single novel) or a macro level (throughout a series or over the course of the saga), ideas and themes tend to appear like (plot) bunnies, with some discarded after a period of time, and others going the distance and embed themselves so far into the narrative, that removal is impossible. As an unwritten rule (yet never really applied) when handling these new plot bunnies, and other ideas from my various muses (or reviewing returning ideas and such), they are given quasi-free reign to showcase their contribution(s) and wait to see if they are compatible (or at least usable) with the existing structure. If said contribution is deemed incompatible or unusable, it gets filed away to the Realm of Discarded Ideas and Lost Characters, with the hope to be rediscovered in the near future.
Of course, much of the aforementioned talk (or rather text) can be the launchpad potential meta-story about my writing process, with the Muses, plot bunnies, and such as my merry band of characters – trust me, it’s on the (long) list of “stories I need to write after I finish (or at least start) writing the MASC Chronicles. A further (albeit probably quasi-mad) challenge would be to have all of these potential stories occur within the same (fictional and most definitely alternate) universe – One Universe to Bind Them All…
Distractions and inspirations, inspirations and distractions – in the end, they’re two sides of the same coin; one does not (or at least probably cannot) exist without the other. Or at least for this writer, they don’t and can’t and probably won’t; though which of the two is the “light side” and which is the “dark side” remains to be seen (or written).