Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reaching the Climax

I'm not an outliner. Not really. I start with an idea. It bounces around inside my skull like a psychotic butterfly until I have an opening to the story. Sometimes it's one of those great lines that I love from the start. Sometimes... it's just a start.

The more mystery stories I write, the more I realize that my sticking point is always when I don't know something crucial about the plot. If I'm fool enough to start the story before it's ready, the sticking point comes when I try to figure out who Bo's client is and what the case is supposed to be. Sometimes this really plays just a minor role in the story-- it just serves to get Bo in a position where pants are down or fists are out. Or both.

The other sticking point is the climax. How does the problem get solved. I usually work through a couple versions, some written and others just tumbling around in my head like panties in the dryer. (On an unrelated note, I don't know why my dryer needs to have a window. Between that and the timer, I spend way too much time watching my dryer... anyway.) If my schedule is busy and I'm afraid of forgetting the idea, I'll jot it down and hope that I won't lose the paper it's written on. Go ahead and laugh-- I've lived with me long enough to know what I can be like.

Sadly, some of my favorite ideas seem unable to get past foreplay. It's like they get stage fright when shirts come off.

Likely because I'm not an outliner, I spend a fair amount of time revising and rewriting. I don't see it as wasted time. Not really. Partly because when I'm stuck on one story, I can go revise another that's already climaxed.

And most of all, even if the story (or scene) is dreck plotwise, I always enjoy writing Bo Fexler. I love the lines she gets to say... I usually just think those sort of things. And usually, by the time I think of them, it's three days later while I'm cooking dinner, long after the event that inspired said comment.

Fiction writing is my way of enjoying the world. Well, that and making sexual references out of everything. =D

1 comment:

Barbara Martin said...

I outline a story after I have written it to make certain the scenes flow in a proper sequence.