Tag Archives: writer’s-block

Nano2018 – when a Pantster just has to Plot

In a previous post I waxed lyrical about how I’d worked out what made Bountiful so deadly. Flushed with euphoria, I thought I was home and hosed, and that the writing would now flow. Not so much…

Since then, I’ve had to acknowledge that the core of my Nano story this year is actually three-fold:

  1. What made Bountiful so deadly?
  2. How did Beaumont cover it up?
  3. How did James Milgrove, aka the Burning Man, discover the Beaumont cover up?

I thought I had the answer to no. 2, but I soon realised that if I went with that particular solution, no. 3 would be almost impossible to achieve. I say ‘almost’ because I could have fudged the solution. ‘Oh  look, I just found a memo that proves Beaumont were culpable. How lucky is that?’

Just writing those two sentences raises the hackles on the back of my neck because it’s such a cheap trick, and so patently unrealistic. I mean really, with billions of dollars at stake, readers are supposed to believe that Beaumont cares enough to send an assassin to Innerscape, but not enough to burn the evidence?

Fortuitous events do happen, sometimes. Most of the time, however, big events are the result of a cascade of tiny, seemingly unrelated events, and the decisions taken over each one.  And that’s where plotting becomes a necessity.

Although I call myself a pantster, the truth is that I’m a hybrid who does a lot of research and a lot of plotting to make the base mechanics of the story work. In the case of P7698, that core revolves around the pseudo-science of Bountiful. In the Innerscape trilogy, the core centred on the constraints of the digital world itself. In Vokhtah, it was the whole world vs the biology, culture and history of the Vokh and iVokh.

Science fiction may demand more, in terms of these core mechanics, than some other genres, but I know that the best fantasy results from the same, fastidious attention to detail. Characters have to react to believable events and circumstances or their actions will come across as ‘fake’, and none of us want that. So here I am, a little bit stuck on points 2. and 3. 😦

I gave up the idea of winning Nano almost a week ago, and I can live with that; the element of competition was just a little added extra to keep me going. But getting this stuck is seriously depressing as I know I’m going to have writer’s block until I find solutions that feel real.

Anyone else having this problem?

Meeks


Muse Wrangling 201

In my second lecture on Muse Wrangling, I deal with runaway Muses, and strategies to get them back. 😉

You can find the full article here, on Indies Unlimited. As always, the comments at the end are the best part.

cheers

Meeks

 


Muse Wrangling 101

I’m thrilled to announce that my first official post as an Indies Unlimited contributor has gone live!

“Good morning Minions. The Evil Mastermind asked me to speak to you today on a subject that is close to his heart – productivity prose.

Now I know the P-word can strike fear into the hearts of the bravest of you, but it is a subject that must be addressed. We are all writers. Writing is how we produce prose, and prose is how we earn our daily gruel.

But what happens when our Muse refuses to co-operate? What happens when that gender-neutral beast sits in its cage, sulking and refusing to come out?…….”

You can read the full post here :

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2013/06/27/muse-wrangling-101/

This is my first attempt at funny-serious so I’d really love your feedback!

cheers

Meeks


The Piano Guys dispel writer’s block!

I’m sitting here listening to the Piano Guys CD and waiting for inspiration to hit. I’m really enjoying the music as I love both the cello and the piano but I’m not sure whether this elegant classical style is going to get my muse out of hiding. Nonetheless I’m going to keep writing whatever pops into my head because Bluey’s advice to just ‘write anyway’ is as good a way to get past this block as any I have discovered.

So who are the Piano Guys? The public faces of this interesting artistic endeavour are Jon Schmidt [piano] and Steven Sharp Nelson [cello], however behind the scenes are highly talented gremlins who create the amazing video clips that go with the Piano Guys music. In a very real sense the concept of The Piano Guys is a fusion of sound and image, often with a delightful sense of humour thrown in for spice.

I was first introduced to the Piano Guys through their Star Wars video clip which takes the idea of duelling light sabers to a whole new level. Steven Sharp Nelson [cello] plays the musical and visual roles of both Light and Dark and at times his bow becomes a light saber! The whole thing is fun and fantastic, great music as well.

In another video clip Nelson plays all four members of a chamber music quartet. The scene is a wedding and ‘they’ are playing Pachabel’s Canon as the bride walks very slowly up the aisle. But then one of the cellists begins to fall asleep from boredom and the music changes to a very up tempo riff upon the theme. The congregation begins to dance and my foot starts a-tappin’ as well. The clip is hilarious and takes serious classical music to a whole new level.

After seeing these two video clips I was so impressed I went to the Piano Guys website to find out who these brilliant maniacs were. I’m not a ‘joiner’ but I was so impressed I joined up as one of their founders and received their CD in the mail a few weeks later. [Everything takes forever to reach Australia].

One of the most beautiful tracks on the CD is ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. The first time I heard it I was gobsmacked because I have never really like the sung version of that piece all that much. Somehow the lyrics and the difficult melody just never quite did it for me. It always sounded strained. The voice of the cello though  is so perfect and effortless that it makes me ache with the wistful pathos of the melody. Watch and tell me what you think.

Well I don’t know about you but I am feeling a million times better. The Piano Guy’s music has soothed my frustrations and, wonder of wonders, the advice to ‘write anyway’ has actually worked. Now hopefully I’ll be able to get some work done on The Book as well. I still have to rework my ideas of how the light from twin suns would actually appear to a native of the planet but… the kettle’s on, I have lots of coffee and I’m sure I can work this out. After all, a binary system can’t be that difficult to work out… can it?


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