Just finished work on a scene in the new writing effort. I’ve had the characters and plot bubbling just beneath the surface for a fortnight, last week I manged to get the first part plooted out and I’ve dedicated this weekend to throwing myself into fleshing the thing out.
Writing early scenes on a story is like being stretched bewteen two locomotives. The first time you pick up a chracter you know a certain amount about them, perhaps some backstory, key motibvation, a handful of physical characteristics. Most of all you know their function – protagonist or antagonist. Central charatcter or foil. The plot demands that each chracter play a part in its machinations. The problem is that as soon as you start carving the character in pen strokes, you are like to find they raen’t happy with their lot. It’s hardly surprising, no one likes being told that they aren’t in control of their own destiny, particularly the willful chracters that tend to drive a good story. The struggle is to harness the actions a character wants to take with the role they need to fulfil in the plot.
Today’s scene was sketching out the story’s uber baddie. Of course he desn’t know he’s the baddie, as far as he is concerned he is the hero. So trying to get him to do the uber bad thing that illustrated his badness was quite hard work. It turns out he is younger than I expected, and at the heart of his ambition is a God complex that I knew nothing about until it slipped out of the pen. I take it as a good sign when the characters start telling me whats going on with the story.
I have another 3 / 4 scenes to fill in then I’m going to get some extracts posted here on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled!
“First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down.”