Fixing the Narrative Structure

Change is in the air.

Even though it’s technically not winter yet, snow has fallen and accumulated in its slushy glory, leaving hidden ice patches in its wake. The temperature has fallen and the roads are treacherous – all the more reason to stay indoors, whip up some cafe mocha, and return to the Plotting and Pondering Zone. Much of the plotting has been outlined, and the pondering has been considered, so the next steps are to finalize the sequence of events and actually!write.

As the title of this entry indicates, the task for this chilly day has been to figure out the narrative structure (and to fix the sequence of events). The order in which events happen, or at least the manner in which they are related, is important in the overall telling of the story; what the reader knows and what the characters know, and at which point certain revelations are revealed is equally important. The reader can be privy to events “unseen” by the characters or the characters may have foreknowledge of events not yet discussed in the narrative. This withholding of information (as it were) builds suspense, heightens expectations and creates the potential for speculation, all of which gives the reader a vested interest in the goings on in the story.

It also gives the author the opportunity to write interwoven, stories supplemental to the main narrative (perhaps from different perspectives) – not to mention potential prequels, sequels and / or alternate universe (AU) fan fiction.

I’m already thinking of the possible off shoots of the main narrative even before I finish writing the main narrative – that’s how jam packed and caffeine wired that writer’s cave that is my brain is. The (Steampunk) cogs are always moving.

Another task I’ve returned to undertaking is tightening and (re)shuffling character exposition – the cast of characters (or at least the main ones) are still in place, but a bit of backstory swapping has happened. Whether or not that will remain as such is anyone’s guess.

(My guess it’ll return to the way it was, only to change at least twelve more times)

Anyway.

I do have a fair assessment of the situation at hand for Series One, Book One of the MASC Chronicles – how it begins and (roughly) how it ends. It’s the middle part and its pacing that needs some work.

The Game of Genres amid the Land of Exposition continues (kinda) – the Real Life Brigade have gone underground (literally and figuratively), off to plot and ponder their own plots and ponder the plausibility of those plots.

Alliteration never takes a vacation, thought it comes and goes as it pleases.

The Muses have taken out their flannel and fuzzy slippers in preparation of potentially being of any use in the next phase of this writing process.

Haven’t seen Rogue One yet, though I’ve listened to its score; even though it’s not written by the Maestro (John Williams), there are references to the iconic themes from the Star Wars universe that it feels as if we’re in that galaxy far, far away.

Off to plot, ponder and potentially write about the universe buried in a parallel timeline where things are odd yet no one thinks it’s strange.

Structure and Pacing In Storytelling

Spoiler alert for Season Six of Game of Thrones (and the series in general).

 

 

 

Well that was an explosive season finale – literally – and perhaps the most satisfying one to date, wherein main characters die (most of whom deserved the end they got, others victims of circumstance), new alliances are formed (utilizing the logic that the enemy of my enemy is my friend… for now), and the most popular (and obvious) fan theory is confirmed as canon (of course R+L = J, but now what if A+J = T? There are  three dragons, and each should have its own rider…) . Winter has come, and the political landscape has shifted, leading the narrative arc (at least for the TV adaptation) into a world where women are in positions of power, and where anything can happen. While much of the series has focused on the War of the Five Kings (all of whom are now dead), it seems now that the story going forward will become the Battle of the Two Queens (Ceresi and Daenerys) and the War Against the Dead.

As the series has overtaken the narrative from the books, it’ll be interesting to see how the series will play out, and how it could affect the structure of the yet to be published next novel The Winds of Winter (which was also the name of the season six finale episode). Of course, the novels have far more details about some major/minor characters not included in the series due to time constraints, and some plotlines diverge from the TV adaptation – it’s understandable that not every detail from the books can be included in the TV series, though it might raise the question of which version would be/should be deemed the “official” canon.

But I digress.

The overall narrative structure and non-adherence to “traditional” storytelling in the Game of Thrones series, and its source material A Song of Ice and Fire series has certainly inspired the quasi-official restructuring of the MASC Chronicles, and the perspective from which (most of) the tales will be told. Fantasy and mystery (as well as the mystery of fantasy) will be explored, using alternate history as the foundation upon which the MASC Chronicles world will sit. Given the current world events as they are, there will no doubt be metaphors baked into the narrative arc, and pointed commentary on the state of things in the Real World. Multiple story arcs will collide, though there will most likely be only one (maybe two) point of view perspectives for each series within the (epic) saga – the use of multiple third person limited narration in the A Song of Ice and Fire series was dizzy and distracting to remember from which character’s perspective the story was being told, and keeping track of all the goings-on within.

Pacing the action will be a challenge, even though the (original) intent was that the core narrative for each novel would be a contained story, with some plot points interwoven to give each series a narrative flow. The novels were intended to be stand-alone, yet be read in a specific order so certain revelations would not end up as spoilers. Then again, it seems impossible (if not improbable) that a book series can both be one narrative flow and be stand-alone (read in any order).

Perhaps that’s the next (general) challenge / dilemma for the MASC Chronicles: should it be one long story split up into multiple parts (episodes) or multiple stories which make up one long story?

More to ponder (and plot).

 

 

 

 

Plotting and Pondering (revisited)

More plotting and pondering about the plotting and pondering about the plots and plotting the ponders. As the Game of Genres winds down (as the 6th season of Game of Thrones nears the end) the path of coordinating the complicated compromise continues. The dust has settled within the Land of Exposition, though the Real Life Brigade blithely deny any involvement in the latest round of shenanigans, preferring to go about their business as usual. The Muses and Plot Bunnies are in deep discussions about next steps and sorting through the Archives.

The meta quality of the blog entries thus far blur when the story about writing the story becomes a story in and of itself, one (for the most part) created spontaneously and with little editing before its thrust out into the (cyber) world… Does anyone really use the word “cyber” anymore when writing about things online? I have no idea.

Anyway.

The (quasi-solid) decision to blend the different genres to tell the Epic Saga that is the MASC Chronicles has brought forth a melding of (somewhat) old ideas with (relatively) new ideas, including some (recent) happenings taken from the Real World. The foundation remains (mostly) within the Mystery camp, straddling between the borderline between Cozy and Hard Boiled, with tinges of fantasy, a smidgen of science fiction and a foothold into Steampunk; a (tiny) hint of romance might creep in (the “fade to black” route, with subtext and innuendo – I’ll leave it up to the fan fiction writers to pen the NC-17 versions), along with some (plausible) melodrama and a cliffhanger or several.

Clearly, Game of Thrones has been an influence in this not-so-unexpected (plot) twist in structuring the narrative, though the MASC Chronicles will (probably) not be as violent or heart-wrenching, though that can change, depending on the needs of the narrative, and the character’s journeys to self-discovery and to their destiny.

Slight digression (spoiler alert): Got around to watching “The Battle of the Bastards” and it did NOT disappoint. House Stark has reclaimed Winterfell (though RIP Rickon – I suppose his death was inevitable, but he should have zigzagged, instead of running straight across an open field, with archers behind him ready to shoot him down) and House Bolton is no more. Though, despicable as he was, Ramsay Snow Bolton was a master of the mind games, and used it to his advantage; he deserved to be killed in that manner – poetic justice, for once in the Game of Thrones universe. As for his (paraphrased) comment to Sansa that “he’s a part of her”, I think it’s figurative and not literal (or at least I hope it’s not literal). Sansa has changed a LOT since the beginning of the series, and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s truly a change for the better, or a pawn in the machinations of the original master manipulator Petyr Baelish / Littlefinger, who of course, was the catalyst for (almost) everything that has happened in Westeros thus far. I’m looking forward to “The Winds of Winter” (the episode, and eventually the next novel, whenever it’s published) – since season 6 has been the Return/Revenge of House Stark, I’m really hoping for Arya make it back to Westeros to cross off more names on her list. If Lady Stoneheart doesn’t appear (I’m still holding out hope she will) I’d love to see Arya, as a former Faceless Man-in-training, use her newly acquired skills to infiltrate House Frey as a version of Lady Stoneheart (a la the Ghost of Hamlet’s father, which would be fittingly Shakespearean). King’s Landing will most likely burn – Cersei is mad (in every sense of the word) enough to use all that wildfire to be rid of the High Sparrow (who is, quite the Engineer). Also, I really, really hope we find out where Gendry ended up (though given the fate of the characters who returned to the series after a long absence, maybe it’s better if he’s still rowing in the open seas…)

End of digression (for now, at least).

The urge to write a variation of Game of Thrones (or rather the A Song of Ice and Fire series) is strong, as it’s an archetype used in many epic sagas – the hero’s journey to battle the forces of Evil, overcoming impossible odds (never tell me the odds!) and restore Order to the Universe. It’s been used countless times in every media, with varying degrees of success. Nevertheless, I’m hoping the (slight) twist in perspective in the MASC Chronicles will render the archetype a new and (hopefully) exciting Saga.

I also intend to actually!write several volumes before going through the rigors of publishing, so the readers will not have to wait (too) long for the next installment.

In closing: a milestone crossed with the writing of this entry: the word count for the weekly ramblings and musings has crossed the 100K mark. So, had this blog been an actual narrative story (in a way it could be interpreted as such), it would have been two or three full length novels (or a host of short stories/novellas).

And it took a little over three years to reach this point.

Here’s to the next 100K (maybe I’ll get around to actually!writing it and writing about it here).

TTFN!

 

 

Something Different Altogether

Maybe.

For all my pondering and plotting, and the quasi-random musing about my plotting and pondering, with brief sojourns into that super awesome, elusive and fantastical place that is the Land of Exposition, not much by the way of substance (at least in the form of credible and coherent narrative) has emerged.

The above impossibly elaborate and possibly grammatically incorrect run-on sentence is/was confusing and nonsensical, as much of my writing here has probably been. Then again, I’m dealing with the process of processing the various emotions that have emerged during this time of year. Not only am I’m talking/writing about the annual Doctor Who Christmas special, but also of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and (to a somewhat lesser degree) the final (Christmas Special) episode  of  Downton Abbey (and only because the 6th and final series has yet to air on the US, though I’ve skimmed some of the spoilers – because I couldn’t help myself – for the final series and no doubt there’ll be another round of tears when it airs in the new year).

[Yes, more quasi-run-on sentences with parenthesis galore – by now you should know that’s how I roll write.]

But I digress.

[I do that a lot too.]

Having recently watched the Series 9 Doctor Who Christmas Special “The Husbands of River Song” (and re-watched “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” for the obvious reasons) and somewhat recently watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s difficult to grasp the various (conflicting) emotions swirling about within my head, which has imploded a few times during the past week. There were moments of laughter, moments of shock and moments of sadness. Tears were unabashedly shed amid the laughter and screams – and I was not alone in this respect. For that’s the true power of storytelling, regardless of the genre and the medium. Even though the stories are fictional, drawn from the imagination(s) of the writers, actualized by the director and the various production specialists (costume, make-up, visual effects, etc.), underscored by the composer and imparted by the actors – they have the unique ability to play on the emotions of its audience and bring about feelings perhaps they long buried or nearly forgotten.

I’ve been a Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember, and I’m a fairly new Whovian, but nevertheless, it’s the overall narrative arc and the (inside) references to the past that has me feeling all the feelings. It’s the characters with whom I (and many, many others) have grown up, watching their story unfold, amid the plot twists and revelations.

Note: there will be no spoilers for either of the aforementioned – I don’t want to be that person who ruins the story for anyone. That’s just plain rude and annoying. Avoiding spoilers has been a challenge, given the omnipresence of social media these days (with the exception of my reading spoiler summaries for Downton Abbey  – for whatever reason, that doesn’t bother me as much. Then again, my emotional attachment to that series is newer than that for Star Wars and Doctor Who). All I will say that both the aforementioned are fantastic and are a credit to their respective fandoms.

But I digress. Again.

I suppose the point of this week’s entry (as it’s the final one for 2015) is to reaffirm my fledgling commitment/promise/objective to actually!write my magnum opus, otherwise known as the epic saga that is the MASC Chronicles. I just keep getting distracted by all these feelings, and pondering ideas. It should be a fairly straightforward task – plot out a story, create a cast of characters and set them loose in a world in which they live.

Then there are the plot twists, character arcs, and exposition with which to contend – stories within stories, crisscrossing narrative arcs and (most importantly) ensuring it all makes some semblance of (logical) sense.

Things in the Land of Exposition have finally (!) calmed down a bit, with the antics  of the Real Life Brigade contained (at least for the time being) – the contracts sorted out, the Muses and Minions calling a tentative truce, not unlike the original peace agreement between the Humans and the Zygons, before the madness that was The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion happened… Hopefully any drama will be contained before it gets out of hand, which might happen in the New Year, but that’s in the future.

Let’s focus on Now, and not on  Then, because we’ve already past Then. Just now. We’re looking at Now Now, and we can’t go back to Then. Or worry about Later, because Later is not Now. Now is Now).

Anyway.

To which, I offer as a late holiday treat, and an early preview (subject to change at any given moment): a snippet of actual!writing, made up (like everything that has come before it) right off the top of my head in real time. I have no idea where/when it will fit or whether it’ll survive the numerous rewrites, edits and plot twists.

Without further ado, some actual!writing:

The job was straightforward and easy. Retrieve a jewelry box from a certain vault and deliver it to Miss Rosalind Udine within a fortnight. Complete the task within the specified time, and the reward would be $100,000, guaranteed. Complete the task within a week and the reward doubled. It was an irresistible offer, which Malcolm Hayes and Brandon Stolle accepted without hesitation. They asked Miss Udine no questions and offered no explanation on how they would complete the task. The less anyone knew, the better. Too much knowledge was a dangerous thing. They maintained a quiet reputation as professional adventurers, discreet and reliable. Their methods were unorthodox, but in the end, they always got the job done.

Until now.

Happy Holidays everyone, and see you all in 2016!

May the Force be with you.

A (Quasi) Different Kind of Writing

So here we are (once again) nearing the end of another year, and this writer’s journey has moved a snail’s pace, at least in terms of actual!writing – a smattering of plotting and pondering has happened intermittently, with inadvertent digressions, inevitable distractions and illuminating diversions. There are only so many hours in a day, and there’s never enough time to get the things that need to get done done before other things start to appear to that take up time to get done.

In short, it’s a perpetual cycle of deadlines and diversions on all fronts. Between the Real Life Brigade causing organized chaos, causing the Muses and Plot Bunnies to scramble about in an effort to find some order amid the chaos, and the newly discovered (?) bugs in the FanGirl Meter (patent pending) causing glitches in its basic programming and letting melodrama and smut pass through unnoticed, things in the Land of Exposition are… interesting. It’s also the odd sensation that there isn’t a new episode of Doctor Who this week from where to draw inspiration or insight, which has happened every now and then in the past few weeks (though there’ll be the Christmas Special in a few weeks’ time, and I’m looking forward to seeing how River Song interacts with Twelve).

Anyway.

As I’ve kept up with writing for the blog throughout the trials and tribulations that is the attempt to actually!write, there have been many (well, one person thus far) who have pointed out that I’m quite good at writing essays (or whatever the heck these quasi-random musings are called) – they’re not quite fiction, not quite non-fiction, but they’re (apparently) amusing and entertaining. There are metaphors amid the meta-ness of whatever travels that (seemingly long) distance from my head through my fingers and on to WordPress – as I’ve always written these entries directly into the site itself and rarely ever edit/reread before hitting “publish” (unless it’s a blatant spelling/grammatical error). If I spent less time plotting and pondering and actually!wrote my stories the way I write this blog, then I’d have a several novels written (albeit probably not ready for Prime Time, as they’d be quasi-random streams of thought which would need a whole lot of editing and stuff like that.

[Like editing the “stuff like that” stuff – it’s almost like writing the way I talk, with bouts of repetition, non-sequitur and quasi-random musical / pop culture references.]

Then again, writing is an art and a science [scientific art, artistic science? Who knows?] and it’s crafty and it’s precise. It’s a jumble of words stung together with imagination and wit. Even though I haven’t written as much as I would have hope to have written, it’s still an objective towards which I would like to aspire – to write something of value (whether it be entertainment, inspirational or maybe sentimental remains to be seen).

Six days until The Force Awakens.

May the Force Be With Us All.

Back to the Writing Prompts

Well this week’s weekly blog post is a (very) short one, as I’ve returned (briefly) to working on the Writing Prompt project, of which I have really, really fallen behind in posting, though a few weeks ago (I think) I abandoned posting something using those prompts as themes on a daily basis and extended the project to be fulfilled throughout the calendar year, so at least that will buy me some time to think of fictional (or not) snippets using those themes.

*Looks at what has just been written* OK, that was a rambling, quasi run-on sentence, but one that the grammar check has not flagged as a run-on sentence, so that’s a small victory, right?

Anyway.

No much to add to the quasi-meta story started two weeks ago – I’m still at the Character Development Inn in the Land of Exposition, pondering over the various scenarios for the back story of my detective protagonist, and deciding on how much emotional angst to inflict – thus far the options are minor to Moffat-level devastation, and could possibly be a game changer in the later stories. With all the focus on the (male) detective protagonist, I have yet to fully develop the exposition for my (female) narrator/associate, and whether or not to drop an emotional angst bomb in her history, which could have a ripple effect on subsequent stories (and perhaps the entire series saga as a whole).

Yeah, I plan that far ahead. Hence my lengthy stay at the Land of Exposition – I might relocate here for the time being to sort out plot points, character relationships and possible (spoilers!) plot twists.

Heck, given the recent weather patterns, I might even throw in a blizzard or two (or three), introduce a mad serial killer trapped along with a group of unsuspecting (yet suspicious) hotel guests gathered for a sci-fi convention.

Crap – I just made all that up, and now I want to write the story.

I probably should stop all this pondering and musing and get back to writing before I have another multiple book, series saga on my hands.

One is more than enough.

Stranded in the Land of Exposition

The road to writing a novel is a lot like planning and going on a long journey.

[I’m sure this metaphor has been used before (probably will be more eloquent that what I’m about to put forth); nevertheless, here’s my spin on it.]

It can be plotted and planned with a set itinerary with little to no room for deviation, or it could be a spur-of-the-moment decision with open parameters.

It can be a solitary endeavor or a collaborative effort.

The destination can be somewhere familiar and comforting, or somewhere foreign and intriguing.

Sometimes there are delays in the departure for a myriad of reasons, leading to frustration while waiting for whatever setback causing the delay to be cleared.

Though once the journey has been established, the real adventure begins. More times than not, it is long and laden with meandering paths leading to all sorts of terrain. Sure, for while the road might be on a clear day down amid a bustling city with activity and wondrous sights  around every corner. Every now and then a side street will appear that leads to somewhere unexpected, somewhere interesting, or maybe even somewhere dangerous. Whether or not to take that path, to stay on the main road, or to choose another path will have an impact on the overall experience.

Meteorological conditions can also play a role in shaping the course of the journey,  and alter the final destination – droughts and deluges will undoubtedly hamper and change the direction of a pre-determined trip, resulting (sometimes) in digressions to someplace else. 

OK. That’s about as far as I can go with this metaphor.

The rationale behind the parallels between travelling and writing came about quite randomly and seemed a good idea, as the title of this blog entry states, once again I find myself “stuck” plotting and pondering character development and how their relationships might/will/can impact the overall narrative arc. Then again, considering the quasi-insane large scope I’ve set up for myself [three-part series spanning several centuries with multiple generations of a handful of families set more or less in the same location] it’s not too surprising that there needs to be a whole lot of plotting and planning to ensure that (almost) everything makes sense.

Of course to add to the already difficult task of creating a series saga on this epic scale, I’ve plunked these tales  predominantly in the mystery genre, with allusions to fantasy, Steampunk, suspense, science fiction and (maybe) horror (at least in the  traditional literary sense, not necessarily in the slasher movie sense). As stated (many times) before (in other blog entries), it is my duty (job?) as the creator of this intricate web of mystery and suspense (and all the other aforementioned genres) I should be the one who holds all the cards and knows the hand that’s being dealt. Therefore  I am tasked to determine who should know what and when and how and why: should the reader know some things about the narrative that the characters don’t, or vice versa? Is there enough being revealed? Is there too much? Have I dropped enough red herrings, or are some of them too obvious? When (and how) is the right time/place to drop a shocking twist? Will it be shocking or anticlimactic?

Again (probably reiterating from a previous blog entry) I have the utmost respect and admiration for writers of all genres and media who can successfully craft a story with a central (or supplementary) mystery with a denouement that is both shocking and almost unbelievable, but upon reviewing everything that had taken place before the final reveal, makes perfect sense and makes me smack myself (figuratively) for not seeing it before the revelation. Steven Moffat – show-runner and co-writer for both Sherlock and Doctor Who – is one of those writers who has (with his collaborators) created story arcs that span over many episodes, dropping subtle hints or non sequitur  that comes across as being innocuous or unimportant, but in the end becomes very relevant. Agatha Christie’s mystery novels also have this quality (at least when I first read her novels), as to many other mystery writers (of which there are too many to name).

Anyway.

Point is, with the constant inundation of ideas, plot twists and other random musings from my writing Muses, plot bunnies and such, I find myself attracted to the meandering paths and exploring different outcomes to quasi-established plot scenarios and character relationships, almost to the point of following down those paths and finding where the story could end up. Essentially if I commit to exploring all these paths and possibilities, I may have essentially doubled, tripled (or some other exponential number) the number of stories I will need to write.

Then again, that’s what parallel universes and alternate timelines are for.

Here’s hoping I find my way back on the road to actually writing  these stories (most of which are quasi-written in my head – it seems the journey from my head and onto paper/computer is a tangled one).

Of course in all this meandering, pondering and plotting, the writing prompt project is temporarily on hold, though some of the fictional snippets already posted were among the catalysts that landed (and stranded) me in the Land of Exposition, and if I can sort through the Jungle of Possibilities I can find my way out of the Writer’s Roundabout and back on the Road to Writing.

Pondering and Plotting

With my focus (somewhat) split between pondering over what to write for the Writing Prompt Project and plotting the narrative for my novel(s), it’s no surprise that I’ve fallen behind in actually writing anything substantial. Yes, I’m quasi-aware that I’ve mentioned my lack of progress in other blog entries, and I probably should not be devoting yet another blog entry about it, but it’s a topic that remains prevalent in my mind, alongside the various plot lines and characters that are to appear in the epic MASC Chronicles series saga. The undertaking of the Writing Prompt project has compelled me to think about what kinds of scenes would fit each prompt (though technically speaking, I could write mini essays instead), which has led to thinking about situations and character introspection that occur throughout the saga, including incidents and characters I have yet to fully develop.

I’m probably over thinking all of this, as I’ve discovered with overwhelming certainty that I am a plotter and not a pantser – I spend (far too much) time outlining narrative arcs and character development, always wanting to have a clear idea (or at least as clear as possible) of where the series arc is headed, if only to mitigate too many left turns and plot twists. As the series saga has been set up to be a (somewhat) linear one, with generational links between each series, with ample use of cause an effect, over a large span of time, there almost needs to be military precision in the plan of attack (so to speak – I’m not even sure if that’s the correct metaphor to use, but it does sound impressive…)

Anyway.

In my pondering and plotting the series saga, the brief excerpts that have been posted thus far do not (and probably will not) appear in any of the novels I intend to write. The way I had envisioned their function is that they are the incidents and introspection that happen before or in between the stories that are to be written, and thus far they have served as potential springboards of ideas for the novels in the later series.

Or at least I hope that is how they are perceived.

Then there’s the additional pondering about two possible plot twists that can/should be employed, and hinted at throughout the series saga, influenced mainly by some of my more recent fixations. I could say more about it, but…

*Spoilers* 

Enough pondering and plotting and writing about pondering and plotting – time to start writing (and editing).

Sequence of Events

Already a week into my self-appointed task of writing and posting something in accordance to a 100 Writing Prompt list, and I’ve fallen behind. It’s partly my own fault, as my usual modus operandi when I’m in writer mode is to ponder and plot out as much as possible before committing any of the story to paper or into a Word document. I had started off well, as stated in last week’s weekly entry, but the momentum was broken by those ever-present muses and plot bunnies, and while writing the few snippets of fiction (not so much chapters but rather short scenes), the aforementioned sources of inspiration brought about new, interesting possibilities into my series saga (still) known as  the MASC Chronicles.

While I probably should have written fictional snippets unrelated to the series saga (and I have a repository of story ideas among my paper and electronic  archives) I’ve been so immersed in the overall pondering and plotting of that series saga, it’s almost impossible not to write about it. On the brighter side of things, the characters that have appeared in and the events that have transpired in the snippets already posted (as well as those still in progress) will have some impact and influence on the series saga, and will most likely not be included in the novel proper. Though having said (written) that, they have (as mentioned earlier) inspired possibilities to the overall sequence of events,  which may or may not unfold in a strictly linear fashion.

All these wonderful and intriguing have caused me to take a brief pause in the writing process and focus (again) on the plotting and outlining events that have yet to happen which will impact events that have already happened or could happen, which will impact the same events that have yet to happen, which has led to a minor stall in the writing process I proposed to accomplish in relation to the Writing Prompt Project. In the previous writing prompt exercise I (think I) coined a pair of  new writing states of mind in which I find myself: Writer’s Speed Bump and Writer’s Roundabout – unlike  the more commonly known Writer’s Block, these two states of mind deal with the overwhelming amount of ideas that slow down the writing process to the point where it remains in a sort of limbo of plotting and figuring out who and what goes where and when and how, and why.

Sequence of events is key to all of this, and at this point, in my attempts to organize all the various ideas swarming around in my head, coupled with the few older ideas poking their heads up wanting to be noticed and included in the seemingly mad universe I’ve unwittingly created.

Well, maybe I’m exaggerating things a bit.

Anyway.

I suppose being stuck with Writer’s Speed Bump and Writer’s Roundabout is better than being struck with Writer’s Block – the ideas are there, it’s the sorting through them that’s put a temporary (I hope) halt to the writing, though I have every intention to battle through this writer’s traffic jam. Maybe someone should create a writer’s GPS system [to continue the driving/traffic metaphor for a little while longer] to give writers guidance to follow the recommending route and avoid bottlenecks and construction work.

OK, that’s enough driving metaphors (and I don’t even drive!)

Well, here’s to finding a new path back to where I was before all these alternate routes appeared.

New Year, New Challenge

As this is the first of my usual weekly blog entries, Happy New Year! Funny how time seems to zoom by as one gets older… I’ll be reaching a quasi-milestone age in a few day’s time, which is a slightly frightening concept, but that’s not the point of this blog entry. On New Year’s Eve day, among the usual New Year’s Eve resolutions made (and never kept),  I decided to use one of those 100 Writing Prompt lists floating about online and commit to using them to write something for the next 100 days. Of course, as we’re now four days into the new year, the daily posts have already been posted (yeah, a quasi-roundabout way to say it, but it had to be said. I think).

Anyway.

As stated in the disclaimer from the initial post of the new year, my motives for starting (and with every intention of continuing and concluding) this endeavor was to motivate me to write (and post) something on a daily basis, and to improve upon my writing technique and style. Thus far I’ve stuck to that daily goal, even though I finish writing and post the entry within the eleventh hour (eastern standard time). Given the order of the daily prompts, the entries may be quasi-rambling musings, akin to those I have posted on a weekly basis or they might be pieces of fiction, and may or may not be related to my current series saga – though the entry for Day 3 ended up being a quasi-historical one, as the prompt was “Making History”: I posted a short snippet of my own fictional work, which had been written (with very little plotting or pondering) in the space of about an hour or so yesterday, with the intention of attempting to write a free form story based on the prompts on the list.

Of course, as my muses, plot bunnies and such are always beavering away (narrative beavers – a new type of animal muse!) at the quasi infinite avenues down which the series saga can travel, they’ve successfully planted ideas on how I could incorporate that snippet to fit into the series saga, and as I pondered in bed while slowly drifting off to sleep (as I often do),  the possibilities that sprang from my vivid imagination brought forth ideas that have the potential of vastly changing the overall narrative flow of the series saga, while at the same time, reviving a recently discarded plot device and jettisoning a stylistic element. I could go into more details about this, but really, I can’t.

Spoilers.

Whether or not these potential changes will be implemented remains to be seen, but at least with my commitment to the 100 days of writing, there’s a good chance that some delightful ideas and inspirations will arise.  Amid the daily postings of the writing prompts, I do plan to keep writing a weekly post – they may be related to the 100 writing prompts or not.

As always, I’m more or less making all of this up as I go along, hoping in the end it’ll all make some semblance of sense.