marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

argument with inspiration

One disadvantage of getting one's inspiration in the forms of bright shining moments, where character, action, and setting are all clear for a millisecond, and then the question is building up the story -- is that the moment dictates stuff that has to change.

A heartbroken character who pleads for a scene is faced with something past his bearing.  One that pleads all the time is just a whiner.  One silent fight does not mean that a character is all but mute.  One theft of a magical stone does not constitute a plot; at the very least, it would need getting to the stone, and away with it, and the perils will differ.  Variety is needed, enough varigation to keep the reader awake.  In a work as small as a sonnet, the writer has to make things change -- often reverse.  Whether the idea yields such variety or not.

Even in settings -- a scene done in a chiaroscuro devoid of color does not mean that all the landscape is like that.   Even if -- or perhaps especially if -- the details of the setting work themselves into the significance of it.  (Yes, even in print, colors can matter.  Even if you might have serious trouble conveying that to the reader.  sigh.)

Nevertheless, some of it's got to be, unless there is a reason for an anomalous situation.  A story has to hang together, or it will be just a random jumble of events.  A character who's willing to plead is not going to be the absolute stoic, even if the other hints of emotion are weak.  Even mood has to fit together; going from despair to delight is legitimate, and indeed a good mark, but they have to be in the same register of emotions.

It goes down to details like names.  If the characters on the whole have lengthy, mellifluent names, naming one Leo, or Jack, or Sue, needs reasons and justification to prevent breaking the story.
Tags: idea development, names, setting (scene), unity of theme

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