marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

applying techniques

An author picks up a good number of tools in the writing toolbox.  None of which do the least good if you don't remember to use them -- any more than picking up a large reading vocabulary does if you don't learn the trick of using them while writing.

So an outline is hanging fire in the annoying manner that reminds me why I took up outlining in the first place.  (It's impossible to feel glad about that even though it is much more frustrating to have written a story out that far.)  Poking and prodding does not restore it to life.

But one day, as I am walking out to my car, I happen to think of it, and how I know what the equivalent of "a man with a gun in his hand, coming through the door" is for that world, and while I am thinking of how Michel and Basil, and Constantine, would react, how Constantine would urge them to do their duty -- Michel says it's his duty too. 

Which is exactly what he would say.  He doesn't appreciate being the only proper knight about, and even if Constantine has failed before, it doesn't change his duty.

Which means that Constantine will not be meekly heading off to the monastery as I had intended -- and so had he.  (Something about feeling a failure merely because he had, indeed, failed.)  Which means he has to either leave somehow (he may have set himself up for a noble sacrificial death) or affect later events.  Perhaps Michel will keep control, somehow.  Little as he appreciates it, he's not a failure.

And in hindsight, that's my other technique for jumpstarting a story:  inverting whatever event was about to happen next.  sigh.  You'd think I'd remember it.

Tags: death, grumbles, orchestrating characters, outlining, plot twist, writing technique

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