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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Sunday, January 11, 2015

planning...or not...

I have begun two new books but am only 15 pages in on both of them. Those 15 pages came quickly enough but since then I've taken a hiatus brought about by extenuating circumstances (family, holidays etc..). Since then I've actually been PLANNING--a tactic I have never employed in all 7 books that have come before.

My planning is not what others might call planning--it's more of a loose idea about where I want the plot to go and what I expect to happen--daydreaming and writing dialogue in my head as I walk in the desert. Of course I have little memory of it later and only hope that somewhere in my subconscious the ideas are percolating. There is no outline involved in this. And then I wonder what my characters will do once I place them in a certain situation because I'm sure it won't be what I think it will be. This is the part of writing I love most--when the characters say: 'yes, but...'and then they are off on their own adventure with me following along writing as fast as I can.

These next two books are both YA, I guess, since the main characters are around sixteen. I'm not sure I know how to write this genre since I'll be appealing to people who spend most of their waking lives on electronic devices. My two main characters, a boy and girl, are bumbling into the University in Edinburgh from a place where there are no electronics at all and where they grow their own vegetables and make their own cheese. Is there any way in hell a modern girl or boy would want to read about this? The only thing I have going for me is magic and sorcery--and I hope this will be enough to intrigue my readers--that and the hilarious situations that could arise. Do I keep my own opinions out of the story as my naive characters blunder their way through a world they don't understand? But how does one keep one's thoughts out of the narrative? And is the appearance of a unicorn too cheesy?

I've struggled with this for several days now and have come to the conclusion that I need to write what interests me, not what I think will interest someone else. There are several issues about life on this planet at the moment that concern me and to try and keep away from these topics would be dishonest.

How do you cope with these problems? do you hide yourself or do you let yourself come through your characters? Do you worry about your reading audience or do you just write and let the chips fall where they may?

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