It’s a magical experience when a new story calls you with such power, that you sit down to plot it out and 5 hrs later, it’s totally finished – neat as a pin, clear, concise, flowing like a horse’s tail and ready to write!
For me, it is often like a jigsaw, random chapters appear, usually unlinked and my job in the end is to try to make all the bits fit into a whole. In this particular case, I’d been struggling and felt that I may never find the whole – annoying! I had the world I wanted to be in. I’d been playing around with a cast of main characters for a couple of months, all highly individualistic with unusual lifestyles and unique backgrounds, as well as a variety of supporting characters who would also play a strong role in the world I had created. The location was there along with the theme but what was missing was the tone, a good solid protagonist – never that hard to create – and the story line. I can’t write a story if I can’t find the right tone. And it seems that I can’t get a story line if I can’t get the tone right!
For some time, I’d experimented writing it with high comedy, farce, satire and more, but none of it felt right for the female lead I had created. Then a couple of days ago, I suddenly realised that I wanted dark, very dark, so dark that it might not fly and wondered if that could work with the people I’d created as it was a complete depart. I sat down to write a few paras to see how it felt. Before I knew it, I had my first chapter, an inciting incident, and an ending. But, there were a couple of central pieces of the jigsaw that were missing – the plot line and the protagonist. I wondered how I’d find them, as if they were both lurking deep in my subconscious and I was just waiting for it to emerge by some random action of unexpected words or thoughts. Oddly, a day later, while chatting to a friend who asked me an unrelated question, my mind took off on a tangent and I suddenly had a bunch of black-hearted villains appear unannounced who tied the whole thing together and the jigsaw miraculously took shape and I had a story line. How weird is that?!