Friday, October 25, 2013

Making the Most of Trouble

I was going to post something about writing back cover premises last Tuesday but stuff came up and so I wrote my weekly post today. Initially I was bothered by the delays and other tasks but then I realized something and decided to make that my post for this week. Making the most of trouble.
A lecturer in college one said "Plot is nothing more than a character in trouble".  If your character never have troubles or encounter problems, then it will likely be a boring story. It's not impossible to write a story that has no serious or minor trouble but it is harder and it narrows the field of possibilities for the writer to explore. .
It's also glass half full sort of thing. When something bad happens one should strive to make the best of it and in my case that means looking for a way to apply the situation for a storyline. Using this trouble to my advantage made me feel better about the trouble. "Not a waste of time" sort of thing.
For instance, waiting for a pick up at an airport can become the frame narrative for a story; Forest Gump did something like this. Computer trouble can become a metaphor for plot conflict; rooting out viruses becomes identifying and resolving the problems plaguing a town (for a Tomato In the Mirror , you can reveal that the town is a computer, or visa versa.)  Alchemy was born in the kitchen, and because Alchemy is Magic, one can turn a cooking disaster into fodder for a magical mishap in a fantasy story or something more science based for a science fiction or historical fiction.

While my troubles this week delayed by writing progress on Looming Shadow, it provided the impetus for a frame of reference that I otherwise wouldn't have thought of. There's a scene I've written an outline for but lacked meat for it and this frame of reference provides that meat. I'm almost glad that it happened because I used it to my advantage.

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