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working on the plot July 3, 2006

Posted by jeanne in Author's Note, Blog project, Characters, construction news, Creative Writing, original fiction, synopsis.
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the plot is beginning to bubble up into conscsiousness. it’s like a chicken passing an egg. you sit and brood, and wiggle and push, and when it’s ready it just slips out.

i recognize it because of writing splat. the same thing happened. i would agonize over bits of the plot and nothing would come. and then i’d have a dream, or i’d be thinking about something else, and there’d be this twist involving another character that suddenly filled in a bunch of gaps i didn’t know existed, and made the whole thing almost believable. and this happened again and again. i’d get to a fuzzy part of the plot, a place where a miracle was supposed to happen, and lo and behold it would, and i’d have wonderful clarity about something i’d had no idea would work out that way. it got so i could just proceed into a fogbank, later on in the story, when i changed direction dramatically at the last second, and proceed bravely even tho i couldn’t tell what was going to happen until i looked down at what my fingers had written without my awareness.

so that whole process is happening. a couple of days ago i had a woman’s story, with a three-part goddess archetype. the minor characters were to be woven in later.

hah. it turns out the guys are a totally vital part of the whole thing, because the girls come to the end of their rope, and get into a fix that demands the guys come and save the day in the way that only guys can. because that happens in real life. and what’s wrong with a knight in shining armor, anyway? it gives me a private thrill just thinking about it.

i notice, as i do yet another stab at writing the synopsis, that i’m writing in spirals. time in this story doesn’t go in a straight line, it goes in waves, so the same rhythms occur in each stage of the story. it seems to be breaking into four sections, this story. each section starts out peaceful in the beginning, but quickly builds to a crisis and a resolution.

each section revolves around the personal crises of the female heros, and when they’re exhausted, the men are challenged and tested, and dragons are slain and there can be peace again, which is also the beginning of another cycle.

this seems satisfying to me. i designed a public garden once according to sacred geometry principles. spirals, circles, the golden mean. boy would the southern baptist moms and dads have been outraged to realize they were standing and playing on occult symbols. as it was, the garden was very well received, and grows more beautiful with the years.

the feeling of the plot bubbling up is an affirming one. it’s so easy to second guess why you decided to sit down and write what has no redeeming qualities once you start hashing over it. when all of a sudden a piece slips into place it feels so good. like finding a five dollar bill in your pants pocket.

remember, the most compelling reason to be devoting another year of my life to writing a novel that it hasn’t been shown anybody wants to read, is that i feel like it.

that’s the only excuse i need. and i’d better cling to it, because everybody knows it’s impossible, and that must mean i’m going in the right direction.

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