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Deconstructing the Big House

There has been a lot of head scratching and character conversing going on of late.  Some of it is for old characters that needed to work something out.  (That’s a difficult one to explain; lets just say someone was pissing me off, and I needed to vent on the nearest idiot, and a character came to mind.)  But a lot of it has to do with this dream/story that’s begun making my life interesting.

I have a general idea about the story, and I have a few ideas that, I hope, will make it interesting enough to keep people turning pages.  I’ve tried to imagine a couple of scenes that would, in my opinion, scare people–or, at least, give the reader a bit of churning in the pit of their tummy.

There’s this issue, however . . . one of the secondary characters, one that you hear a lot about, but don’t really see.  He’s becoming a pain in the butt.

Allow me to explain:

I want the story to be spooky and atmospheric.  Now, perhaps I’m reaching for something I’m not ready to do yet, but what the hell–you’ll never know if you can grab that ring unless you try.  Ergo, I’m thinking about how the story can advance from A to Z.

But I keep coming back to this character, the person that isn’t seen, but who becomes a part of the story because–well, he do set everything in motion.  And I find that not only am I thinking too much about him, but he’s becoming way too much like characters I’ve already written about in another story.

This is what bothers me:  am I writing another version of a story I’ve already written?

I keep coming back to this same thing about the character, and the more I do, the more I’m aware that I’m doing something I’ve already done.  Yes, there will need to be something said about this character, but I want to do something different.  I don’t want to pull this exposition out the same way as I did in another story.  It’s way too close, and worse–it’s lazy writing.

If I’m going to continue with this line of thought, I need to go back to the beginning and think about what I want the story to be, and where I want it to go.  One of the things I haven’t yet figured is the end.  What will happen at the conclusion?  I have no idea.  That’s as much a mystery to me as it might be to the reader.

It’s time for some brain storming.  There are no plot bunnies here; I drove them off with the 12-gauge years ago.  This is a case of sitting and mapping my mind, and while it’s a bit frightening to believe I can really map my mind, it has helped in the past, so give it a shot now.

While I’m at it, I could do the same for a story I’m going to write in October.  And what about NaNoWriMo?

Hell, man:  tackle one craziness at a time, right?

8 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Big House

  1. I have a recurring character. He’s basically the same jerk in everything I write but I do manage not to recognize him right away. He might be dressed different, or be a totally different race, it’s his personality as it shines through, that makes him recognizable to me. I don’t know if I have any readers who’ve read all three books so I don’t know if readers are seeing him too. I wrote all of that to say, don’t let the re-appearance of a character or the familiarity of a character stop you from writing the story that’s on your mind. Alter egos, alternate time streams, universes…they exist in our creative spaces. What the character was in one story, I doubt he or she will be in another. Make sense?

  2. Sounding like a novice writer, what is a ‘plot bunny’? I think it is funny how we are just like those we around all of the time and do not relaize how much like those others we become (e.g. parents). So chararcters would tend to follow that flow as well don’cha think? 🙂

    • Off the “Plot Bunny Adoption Center”:

      What is a Plot Bunny?
      A Plot Bunny is the term some groups of writers give to the little ideas that start off big stories. Bunnies are not quite ‘inspiration’ – they’re a little more developed than that, but they’re also not a completed plot.

      When you write a lot, and these creatures start coming to you in droves, begging for chocolate (the preferred diet of the Plot Bunny consists largely of junk food), and you feel a potentially confusing but irresistible urge to write exactly what they’re telling you to. Some of them won’t let you rest until you’ve done it, others are more subtle, working themselves into what ever you’re supposed to be writing, or thinking about.

      However, properly trained and cared for, they can be invaluable companions. Or scapegoats.

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