||[Dec. 3rd, 2005|12:29 pm]
Well, that's another box of books down and I now have a large free section in my library to work on writing. This morning I went out and bought pencils, pens and index cards. I tried using Dramatica Pro's demo last night, but it feels too complicated to me, and as long as my primary machine is my laptop, it's also not well suited to the input mechanisms I have at hand. So, killing trees it is.
Right now I'm planning to have an index card per character, and possibly an index card per character per scene containing feelings leading up to scene, goal in scene, and what I hope to have them leave the scene feeling. Note, I don't expect to fill all of these out every scene, but I definitely need something to help me keep track of these things and make sure I'm tracking the non-viewpoint characters correctly. I'm also hoping to track the antagonist through all the scenes and intermissions. It happened to be that the way I designed the antagonist in Familiar, his motivations, world view, skills and limitations, I don't see him acting incredibly stupidly at any point in the story. However, I didn't plan that, and the antagonist in The School is significantly more powerful, has more information, etc. If I don't track him, I am absolutely sure that people are going to look back and go 'but why didn't he do this?!', something I want to put effort into avoiding.
Unfortunately, to really make my library comfortable, I need to replace the lights in the ceiling. They burned out (I guess - they don't go on any more, that's for sure), and the paneling for them was way too yellowish anyways. I'm currently borrowing one of the torchieres from upstairs, but since we have game tonight, I or genedefect are going to have to carry it back up. Also, it's freezing in here, so I need to locate the vents and see whether they're closed or covered or what.
Houses are awfully complex. So many rooms, so many things to keep track of.
I'm trying to decide whether I want to find a book on dramatic archetypes and try to incorporate some of the theories into my writing. It definitely would fit better into the 'character-based' 'complex' fiction style. I'm just not sure that it a) won't get in the way and b) matter. I don't know how many good authors really bother with that sort of stuff. I want to write a good story that people will enjoy, and if it happens to be 'simple' fiction, I don't really give a damn. I'm not writing the next Scarlet Letter here. I don't have a bone to pick with my readers. One thing that worries me about the archetype sort of thing is that it feels like it might pare the characters down too far to the essentials.
One rant from Limyaael's Fantasy Rants (or would it be an overarching rant - it shows up in several), is that main characters are never mistaken. It's a generalization, not an absolute truth, but it struck a chord with me. One thing that frustrates me about so many books I like and games I play is that the main character just doesn't come across as real to me. The minor characters as well. Maybe I'm confusing a different type of problem for the solution, but that's one of the things I love so much about Shadow Hearts. Uru is flawed, and despite being powerful he does take the consequences of his actions sometimes, and he's not bloody perfect. He's a dork, but not in the 'aw, lookit me I'm so clueless' dork fashion, but in the 'um, yes, I'm going to hit on the girl' and 'I'm sorry, I can't help but point out how stupid you're being despite the fact I'm going to get my butt kicked' kind of way. He's also angsty without moping (definitely in the first game - the only one I've actually played all the way through).
Of course, one thing that also helps with Shadow Hearts is that it's a parody of the RPG genre, but it also has a strong, dark storyline. I think of Shadow Hearts as a funny game, but really, it's mainly the character interactions that are funny. A lot of the things that actually happen aren't funny at all, and it does take them seriously when it hits them.
Anyways, I've gotten off topic. Things are looking good for a more or less free weekend from now on, which pleases me greatly, and hopefully I'll start stabbing at the characters for The School soon. I'm thinking of juggling powers and backgrounds a bit. I'm mentally fleshing out a different, hopefully better, start for the story, and coming up with some middle conflicts. I always suck at those. Maybe outlining will help me get to a point where I can start seeing the logical conflicts that will birth more good scenes. And subplots.
Oh, and more SRWalpha2. With pirate Gundams. (Squee?)