11 February 2011

week one...goals met.

In case the whirlwind of excitement and anticipation has clouded your memory, Monday's blupdate defined this weeks goals: consolidation of my scattered ideas, started stories and characters, etc....and deciding on which story to run with. Big decision.

Over the past week I have sifted through hundreds of emails and scoured tons of hiding places where my fledgling ideas may have sought refuge, but I am confident that they have all been rounded up and organized. I have four main categories: overall plot ideas, characters, scene ideas and miscellaneous. Let me clarify:

overall plot ideas: these are the broad ideas, the ideas for stories. Very general. Detail pending.
characters: this one is obvious. I feel bad for these guys/girls/whatevers...will they ever find a home?
scene ideas: these are ideas which I think are cool or exciting. they don't necessarily apply to one specific story, but they could be modified to fit into a number of various plot ideas
miscellaneous: these are the leftovers, but more specifically, they are cool one liners, nice analogies, "wouldn't-it-be-cool-if?s" things of that nature which I will try and shoe-horn into whatever project I'm working on. If they work, cool...if not, re-file.

As for the big decision. Maribeth can attest to the fact that I was flip-floppy on this one. I have a bunch of ideas which I feel have enough meat to them that they could be cultured into something much larger, and I also have ideas where the incubation period has already been set in motion and things have been put down on paper. Early on, Tuesday, I believed that I had made my decision. Then I changed my mind...three more times. I eventually decided that I wanted to finish a 'short' story (roughly 80-100 book pages) I had started. It would have been a mystery novel for young adults (obviously with a couple of twists to make the idea its own). I do like the concept and the characters, and I truly do hate to put it on hold, but, after speaking to that wise, not so old friend of mine, I was wanting to do it for the wrong reasons.

Well, not necessarily for the wrong reasons...I was looking at the versatility of the finished short story: the ability to enter it in writing contests, the potential for publication and its marketability, the prospective application of turning into a series, etc. that's all well and good, but after a brief conversation, I was told (in so many words), to just shut up and finish whichever one was the easiest to finish. And as this YA (young adult) mystery novel was a relatively new idea which hasn't been fully explored, it was agreed upon to put it on the back burner and let simmer for a while.

So after deciding which not to do, it was mutually agreed upon that the story I should focus all of my attention on was the one which is the farthest along. Makes sense. It's a story which I had actually began as a different story in a different time altogether. Literally. The original concept was about a young boy who was sub par, socially and events took place in which he went on an adventure and changed his whole persona. Nice, but my issue with it was what changed his persona wasn't him at all. His actions were all reactions to external characters, environments, etc. And for characters to grow, they need to not only experience, but to decide for themselves in certain situations...The concept was good, but not great.

So, after a full outline, character studies and three chapters, I scrapped the idea and replaced the one main character with two main characters, kept the general idea, but moved the whole story back in time 150 years. It's actually a very fun, YA adventure novel. It's not a short story, which is one of the reasons I was leaning away from it, but it has sparked so many ideas that it should be a fun write.

So there it is. Next Monday, I'll set next week's goals and elaborate on what made me choose the YA genre. Stay tuned.