Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Inspirations and Secondary Characters

This will be a short entry because it's late. I have been at a loss creatively for about six months now. And after that long hiatus, I have begun writing and creating again in the last few weeks. I understand it may just be time for my creative dry spell to end (for now), so I'm not going to give sole credit to one writing technque or force of will or anything that pretends to be useful to others in the same situation. I do, however, want to share a craft tool I have been playing with during this spurt of inspiration.

As I mentioned last month, I am going through the Snowflake method for plotting my new Nano. Over the past few days, I have been writing one-paragraph story summaries from the POV of each character. This task has helped me immensely with uncovering the overall plot of the novel. I have always struggled with thinking up plot events (Vikki, by the way, is very good at that). But this process of learning from the characters, what happens and how they all respond, has breathed life back into my novel. With every character, even minor ones (in some ways, especially minor ones), I learn something new about the story, the characters, and the large-scale structure of the novel. I can see the parallel stories occuring simultaneously and interweaving with each other. Minor characters have forced their way into important roles. I have subplots emerging, which is a first for me as well. The story has begun pulling itself together in ways I did not expect. For the first time, I feel like this novel might just work after three years of fiddling with it. I'll keep you posted.

When was the last time you had a creative dry spell end?

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