Thursday, 3 June 2010

Novel diary - #2

I've still been working on another tale so I've made little progress with written down words this week, but some ideas are bubbling away happily. In a previous article I talked about how making connections is the important thing for me in writing. Although I wouldn't go so far as to call it a system, I usually need to connect at least three ideas before I have something that feels substantial enough to start writing. And usually those three ideas turn out to be a character idea, a plot idea and something real.

The real thing that came to mind is western dime novels and the way that real people who would later be viewed heroically lived at the same time as fictional heroes were being created. I used that idea for comic effect in The Treasure of Saint Woody, but that idea had started out with serious intent so I've felt it has more mileage even if I haven't been able to think of an angle. As it turned out I watched an old episode of the tv cop show Morse this week where tabloid reporters try to destroy Morse because of his bookish ways. It included a scene I've always liked where he solves the murder from the blurb of an old book, letting him deliver the proud line at the end that he got the answer from, "something I read in a book."

That made me think it'd be nice to get that line into a story somewhere. So I'm thinking now that my working title of The Legend of the Seven refers to an old book, but somewhere in it is the solution to a mystery. So that's two ideas of something a bit real with early western literature and a plot point of someone reading a book. I just need a hint of a character. And sometimes when nothing character based comes to mind I resort to the simple solution of having a bloke ride into town. I don't know who the bloke is or where the town is, but I hope I'll find out quickly.

I tried that and for variety I decided my bloke would be on a stage. So I wrote a stage, but I struggled when I came to think of who the colourful folk inside would be. I had a walk round the garden and when I came back I decided if I didn't know who was on the stage maybe I shouldn't try. Maybe nobody is on the stage. So that's what I have: about three paragraphs describing a stage standing alone and abandoned somewhere. How it got there, where it was going, what happened to it, and how that links in with a book and a legend involving the number seven I don't know yet. But it's a start and I'm intrigued enough now to carry on.

1 comment:

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks for sharing this creative mental rambling. It so resembles my own process, which is a kind of a juggling of pieces - putting something in, taking something out - until it all falls into place and stays there. It can take days, weeks, months. . .