Consequences and Plot

In my last post, I wrote about consequnces. In this post, I’ll expand on what I mean and what that means going forward with writing the second installment of the Half-Blood series.

I’d like to think that the ending of the first book set up the premise for the second book. Not only did an authority figure die, our heroes were saved – if you consider eternal servitude as saved. Nonetheless, their actions have drastically changed their lives and the lives of many more people. Their actions have consequences and I’m excited to write about those consequences.

Without giving too much away, a successor rises up to uncover the truth of his predecessor’s death and enact revenge if need be. He has a purpose and his investigation interrupts the main character’s lives. Now I have tension and conflict that I can build up through the story. Now, this isn’t the entire plot. This is a subplot that will run through the story.

The true plot of the story is to discover who’s behind a deadly virus infected certain people and finding a cure. For now, that’s what I’m going with. NaNoWriMo will give me the opportunity to play with this idea a bit more. Now, my main characters, Renelle and Alastair have to join forces again but they aren’t on friendly terms.

And all of this comes from all the events of the first book. Renelle saved Alastair and now they both serve the people who wanted to kill Alastair (that’s the shorten version). There’s a lot of bent-up feelings going around.

I plan to start the story by placing the characters in their new words. E.g. Renelle under servitude. The successor looking into his predecessor’s death. The term “domino effect” applies here perfectly. One action leads to an outcome and that to another so it’s all connected. You can’t really pinpoint where it all started. Because of the planning I did beforehand, this is all playing into a larger story arc that spans across the series. This is all leading towards the end.

While I forsee a lot of agony and frustration, I am excited to continue expanding the story and world that I have built.

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Trial and Error

With everything winding down (at work), I’ve been able to get a few more things done. It’s mostly got to do with the fact that I’m not as tired from my day job like before. 

So, not only have I officially submitted my review for the game I mentioned earlier, I was welcomed aboard. I got my own wordpress login for the website and, although I have to complete my profile, I feel like I’m part of the team already.

On another note, there’s one story that I have always been going back to. At first, I wrote it as a short story twice. Each version has always been different. But the idea has always stayed with me. 

This is my second science fiction story that I have. Its futuristic in nature, plus mutated beasts, and a bit apocalyptic in nature. I have the characters created and the world. I do have most of the plot figured out and yet, the execution has always been odd. I’ve written it time and time again and it still doesn’t fit.
I think it’s because the story deals with heavy issues – that I believe to be heavy – and so I want to portray these issues correctly. My inability to do so has, somewhat, annoyed me and, which is why, the story hasn’t really gone anywhere.

Nevertheless, I managed to write about two pages of this story. It’s not the greatest and even now, I’m trying to convince myself that I just need to write and not worry about how it sounds like. You would think with NaNoWriMo I would be better at this but its still hard. 

In the meantime, I will be editing stories to try to appease my inner editor so she can let me write in peace.  

Optimistic

I am happy to announce that I was able to write two of the scenes that I set out to write today. Sure they could have been longer but that doesn’t worry or bother me too much. All that matter…

Source: Optimistic

Increasing Word Count

While rewriting a project, currently called Crimson Queen, it hit me that I only have less than 40k words. Plus, it’s a fantasy novel. Double punch. Make it triple. Right off the bat I knew that I could beef up my description a bit, perhaps add some flashbacks, and do a little more world building. When I really think about, perhaps my plot is too linear and needs more conflict than what I currently have.

Thinking back on what must have been my thought process was that I was more focused on the plot and making sure I didn’t get lost somewhere in the chapters. In practice, I think I was off to a good start. Most first drafts aren’t going to be perfect and mine is no exception. Perfection comes in many rewrite (IMHO). I talked about telling versus showing a few weeks ago and this ties back to that. Rewriting parts of a book that shows what the character is going through (he was anxious) with good description (his heart thundered in his chest. Every breath was strained) then it you add more words to your story.

Below are some suggestions that I have found, used and will used in future projects if the occasion calls for it again:

Pacing

Have you ever gotten to a really good part in your story and you just wanted to put it on the page? I have. Just recently I wrote a scene where a Council looked over information and discussed about the explosion in town and, although I don’t have the full word count, I’m sure it is less than 500 words. It’s fine to want to have everything on paper but going back and rewriting the scene to add tension, conflict or something that moves the story forward will help on the long run.

Subplots

I like subplots. To me, they add conflict and tension between characters that might even distract them from their main goal. It prevents the story from being too linear and they’re also a way for you to develop and/or flush out your character whether it’s your protagonist or not. Or you can develop these subplots further.

Minor Characters

We interact with a lot of people over the course of the day and they have a story of their own. The people in your stories are no exception. I’m guilty of not giving my minor characters enough page time and they pop in and out because the plot demands it. Give them more page time and have them talk or interrupt your character when their on their way visit a family member in the hospital. Or something like that.

New Characters

This kind of goes hand in hand in minor characters. These can be anyone from a friend from the past, a new guy, the guy that lives next door but you just noticed. There’s always an opportunity to complicate things for your character. That first prize art contest, have a new guy show up and he can paint/draw anything. Make him/her a rival and see where that goes.

Description

Use with care. Beef up those scenes that might need an extra push to make the world seem alive. When your characters are talking, don’t let them stand on white space. Have them move around the room or store. Have them pick up things. Do you stand still when you talk to someone? I don’t.

Complications

Nothing should go according to plan. That’s a motto I live by. Well, not really but I do some times. Saying that, if your character is racing to the hospital (different example, I promise) because his/her friend just cut their finger on a razor, you bet you have to pull them over or have their tire get a flat. This does sound cruel but you get the gist. Nothing should be easy because it isn’t.

Anything else I miss? What do you do to increase your word count? What works for you? What doesn’t? Thanks for stopping bye. Until next time.