marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

muddle from the middle

Everything in a story is built toward the climatic conflict, or toward the character's arc reaching completion, and revolves about a central notion.

That's a comment about structure, not about the writing process.

I don't start with an overview of the story or its central meaning.  I don't start with my ending.  I don't start with my beginning.  I usually don't start with my character.  What I usually do start with is an incident from the middle.  It may be a turning point in the story, it often is, but I don't know that at the time.  All I know is to start considering what could lead up to it, and what could stem from it, and who would do all the actions in the incident, and (secondarily) who would be deeply affected by the actions and the incident.  I may have to take notes.

But eventually, I snag something that looks remarkably like an opening.  At which point, I can start to outline.  It's kinda like getting a rose cutting to put down roots and start to grow before you try training it over a trellis.  Or if you were dumping in the middle of the Valley Full of Clouds, in a little hollow filled with lovely blue flowers,  and had to get to one side before you could blaze a path through the valley, to take in that hollow and all the other wonders, and to get to the other side.
Tags: beginnings, character arc, middles, outlining, plotting, unity of theme

  • a sequel looms

    Haven't even finished the first sequel, and it's suggesting a third story in the sequence. Suggesting it very vaguely. If one witch is taken out,…

  • villains and conflict

    When writing superhero stories about an inner or philosophical conflict -- what is the best use of my powers? should powers serve the law to preserve…

  • time of confusion

    Character is confused. And not a situation where he sees a labyrinth before him, goes in with the knowledge that he may get confused, and does so.…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded