Joe’s Post #151
Silk posted about this almost as an afterthought to her blog, but for me, it’s a vital part of taking on a huge writing project like creating a novel.
So if you need to fall in love with a story, what do you need? What makes you fall in love with a story you have to tell?
For me, here’s a quick list, cuz that’s what I do, I make quick lists. Sometimes big lists. Sometimes big long lists. It’s who I am.
- The character. If I don’t love my character, I can’t write a story. This has changed over the years, evolving from me liking an idea then thinking of a character. It’s often a chicken an egg thing when it comes to creating the story, but falling in love with it, yeah, that starts with character.
- I have to love the setting. It’s why I often write slightly weird settings (or fantasy settings). I set a novel in the California desert, in an abandoned airfield. I’ve set one in a reimagined Venice. I set one partially in the clouds.
- I have to have a great antagonist. Again, this is something that has evolved over time. In my first novels, my antagonist was often barely visible (like some dark lord), but now I need that character to be real flesh and blood, to be active, to be interesting and exciting, like a ballerina twisted by abuse and torture to become a merciless and highly skilled killer.
- I have to like the voice I’ve chosen. Oh, I’ve tried to write a flowery romance (it’s pretty sad, actually), but I felt bogged down, as much as anything, trying to write in a way that I couldn’t write. Like trying to print with your left hand. Or speak backwards. Or a pitch a novel. It’s awkward and often embarrassing.
- I have to like the plot. This may seem like a no-brainer, but something about the story has to excite me. Character alone, setting alone, voice or antagonist alone cannot carry a story. I have to love an idea. Silk’s come with a stunningly good idea. Paula worked on a novel with an idea I’d love to steal. Karalee created a serial killer concept that was brilliant. And Helga, my God, that woman cranks out Big Concept Novels like no one else I know.
So that’s just a quick list. Mostly common sense, I think, but understand that creating a novel and spending weeks and months and maybe years on it requires a bit more. It’s like dating someone vs marriage, it takes a lot more than a nice smile for the thing to work.
And, in keeping with past post ideas, here is my week.
Pages on novel written – 0
Links of other writers/bloggers to check out
Our latest person to sign up for the 5 challenge. Richelle Elberg. (She’s got a great site.)
Anyone else up for the challenge?