The Reading Edit

One of the last rounds of editing: Reading it out loud. It’s horrifically embarrassing if you do it too early on in the writing process, but as I’m just about done, it didn’t turn out too bad. Just a few more tweaks left and off it goes!

You can find the guidelines for the Sword and Laser Anthology here:
http://swordandlaser.com/anthology/

A Youtube Channel!

I’m going to start vlogging! It should be interesting. I’ll need to figure out how to do this whole writing vlog thing, but hopefully it will all work out pretty well. So far all I’ve posted is a quick introduction, but more will be coming soon.

Stock: A Story Idea

So I’m lying here with a cotton swab in my mouth to dull the pain of my rebellious wisdom tooth and I suddenly had a story idea. Before we begin, please forgive my spelling. I am without internet and am typing instead on my phone.

The idea. Your normal story follows a series of characters and they usually start fairly stick, developing into complex ones along the way. Usually. What if it happened in reverse?

The story follows a series of characters in a character waiting room scenario where they are main characters in a long running series. They are fully developed and complex already, but they start to notice that their fellow characters are starting to lose personality traits and motivations as the story goes on.

Being in the book is like a job and they are actors in this grand play, as is the case in most of these sports of set ups, but behind the scenes, they imagine there is a creature stealing their personalities, or maybe one of he minors trying to take a leading role by making the mains all dull. They don’t know and are trying to figure it out before they turn completely intuitive stock characters.

In the end, of course, they find its nothing so sinister. Heir writer, after having written so many books and desiring a chance to write something else, has a deadline approaching with this book and is a little blocked.

And hats the idea. It will need a few years to mature, but I rather like it as a base. Although I hope I don’t keep up he trend of interesting ideas while in pain.

Learning from Literature: Plot vs Story

Book: Alice in Wonderland

Author:

Lesson: The plot is very different from the story.

Alice in Wonderland is a very familiar story for the most part. A girl goes to another world and eventually returns from it. The plot has changed from iteration to iteration, the events changing time and again, leaving in only a few key bits throughout the instances. The confusion between Wonderland and Looking Glass has almost made it so that they are better thought of as one book rather than two.

But there seems to be a big disconnect between the plot of Alice in Wonderland and the story of it. The plot is that in every chapter, Alice finds something new in Wonderland, talks to it, gets confused, then parts from it to never speak of it again. This proceeds throughout both books until she leaves at the end of each. As near as I can tell, the plot doesn’t even seem to give her a motivation in this. She is simply in Wonderland, walking, and then she leaves. Not terribly compelling, honestly, though it does give you a nice chance to look at the set pieces.

The story of Alice in Wonderland, however, is a different beast all together. After reading it for the first time, I remembered it as the story of a girl plunged and lost in a fantastical world trying to find her way back home. The internal logic was the only thing that made sense and she had to figure out their riddles in order to get home. Upon rereading it, the plot didn’t have many of these elements in it, but that was what I took away and the story that I remember.

The plot consists of only the events that actually happen in a work. The story is what we interpret those events into, from the motivations of characters to the way events link together when it’s not explicitly stated. And the story, if done right, can turn out to be an entirely different beast from the plot. It’s not a bad thing in the least, but it’s interesting to see happen.