Reading For Research

In my (seemingly) never-ending quest of researching, pondering and plotting the Epic Saga [eventually I’ll get all the ducks in a row and actually get to the writing portion of this quest. Really.], the likelihood of adding an alternate historical twist to the series saga has gone from being 89.6% to about 36.8%, all within the span of about two weeks (or so). More times than not, if the (usually quasi-random) interest in a story idea, plot twist, character arc, etc. does not lead to the  subsequent development of the aforementioned component within two weeks, the impetus to pursue that component wanes dramatically. So it’s not too surprising that I have so many false starts, discarded plot devices and lost characters (though some plot devices and/or characters find a way back to the forefront, though sometimes to fall back into the Abyss of the Writer’s Trunk).

*thoughts of that quasi-meta story series emerge once again* Maybe I should focus on that series, as I seem to be stuck/overwhelmed with the vast, almost George R. R. Martin-level intricacy of epic storytelling…

But I digress.

Yet again.

So this week, instead of researching specific historical events to bend and twist (twist and bend?) into the MASC Chronicles, I’ve taken to reading other works of fiction to ascertain (kinda) and analyze (sorta) different writing styles and tone so as to figure out how to approach my stories (many of which reside in my head, nearly almost fully formed). To wit, (as mentioned previously) I’ve immersed myself in the land of Westeros, [a.k.a The Song of Ice and Fire series, of course better known as Game of Thrones] – currently I’m about a quarter into the second novel A Clash of Kings; for those who have not read the novels (and only know the story via the HBO series), the story unfolds from the third person limited perspective of one character (denoted at the start of each chapter), wherein multiple storylines are woven together, and the reader only sees/knows what that chapter’s character experiences. This style is easier to follow than expected, given the breadth of characters, places and other elements of the story – thankfully, there’s an appendix at the end of each book that lists all the different Houses and all the characters within, so as to keep track of who’s who (and their current state of being – living, deceased, captured, etc.).

Needless  to say, it’s a storytelling perspective, I’m almost tempted to employ (as my own Epic Saga Series has grown exponentially over the years) yet it’s an idea that lived (and died) within hours of mulling over it. My series saga (as it stands now) isn’t really one epic journey with multiple interweaving storylines/characters – there’s no Iron Throne up for grabs… though actually, thinking about it, there is (or might be) something a host of characters want to obtain…

Huh. That was quasi-unexpected.

Anyway.

I’ve also returned to (re) reading Agatha Christie, mainly the Poirot stories, as most of them are written in first person perspective (the style/perspective I chose to employ for the first two series – the third series might employ  the multiple character third person limited perspective), again to research/explore the tone, style (and so forth). As I’ve mentioned before, writing in first person is a new experience, and proving to be problematic, as I haven’t (really) decided which of my (two) protagonists will ultimately be the narrator (well, I kinda have a sense, but again, there’s the exposition to think about, and where/when/how exactly to start). I almost want to return to the third person (omniscient or limited) perspective – as it’s the perspective I’ve written most of my stories thus far – yet, I’m determined to stick to first person perspective, first as a challenge to myself to (at least) attempt it (so far it seems I’m not winning) and also to pay homage to the mystery writers I admire, who wrote in first person.

Again, I’m probably (most likely) over-thinking all of this, and I really should just get down to the writing (or rather extract the narrative from my brain space) and figure out everything else later.

If only I could.

I always have the urge to know WHY things happen, and HOW things are meant to play out.

Oh well, back to reading/research.

Again.

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