It’s Been a Baaaad W… winter

So much for my “rizolushun” – four weeks of posting on time, then nothing for over two months. Not a good start, if I say so myself.

That said, the worst of the winter is over and with it, I hope, has gone the worst of my lethargy. I haven’t been completely idle in the ten weeks since I posted last, I have written some poetry, a couple of short stories, and done more work on the background for my main project.

Ah, background. So much easier for me than writing the main story. I know these characters, describing their lives is easy and fun. And, since I know that these are notes for my eyes only, I don’t have to worry about creating immortal prose; I can simply jot the ideas down as they come to me, and then rearrange them into the most pleasing order. I can knock out two or three “character essays” in a single day, no problem. What I can’t seem to do is write the story in which these characters appear.

Outline, yes. I can outline the story, and indeed I have. It is all there, fully plotted out and ready to be written up. It’s been ready for two years now, and so far I’ve only written chapters one, two, five, and the epilogue. I have isolated fragments of dialogue that will go into chapters four and seventeen, and a descriptive passage that needs to be worked into chapter eleven. And that’s all. Of the 15,000 or so words I have on file, only 9,000 belong to the finished story. The remaining 6,000 are notes: character essays and background information including a detailed history of my fictional world and a description of how it is governed. Interesting for me to work out, but not strictly relevent to the telling of the story.

Yes, the telling of the story is still my downfall. I have a story, whole and entire, waiting to be told. I simply cannot organise myself well enough to tell it. To that end, I have been doing a lot of reading, particularly webcomics.

Several years ago, I happened upon Scott McCloud‘s book “Understanding Comics“. It was an amazing read, and completely changed the way I thought, not only about comics but about stories in general.  I tend to visualise my stories very clearly; and if it were not for the fact that I possess the artistic ability of a lobotomised chimp, I might try telling my story as a comic – or “graphic novel” as it is becoming known.

I have been reading a variety of webcomics: some are a series of unconnected strip cartoons (e.g: F-minus) and others tell a serialised story (e.g: Hero in Training) Some even do both (e.g: For Better or For Worse).

The ones which tell a long story are most helpful for me to structure my own story-telling, and I will be writing more about them next week.

Yes, I will be posting next week. I’m already working on it. Honest …

Link of the week:
Code Name: Hunter - www.rcsitravel.net


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