Many years ago I was identified as a possible Public Service leader of the future. Well, it didn’t pan out, but for a year the government did pay for me to have a personal mentor. This man taught me a lot about leadership and motivating people. One of the big lessons revolved around “why?”. Why should your staff care? Why should your bosses care? Why should your customers give a damn? Why? Why? Why?
Anyway, I started reviewing my novel’s first draft and thinking about the feedback from my beta readers. The question “why?” kept coming back. Why should the readers care? Why were the characters doing what they were doing? Why were the bad guys necessarily bad? Why? Why? Why?
So I spent a lot of time thinking. What was actually going on?
Initially it had simply been a coming of age tale. Then, about a third of the way through, it morphed into a sinister plot by an ancient demon. Another few chapters a lame imitation of a Lovecraftian story started to emerge with a “Forbidden Planet” veneer. Argh!
OK. I’ve stepped back and rewritten the story synopsis: Two Eldritch forces collide, in the process isolating the people of Shade and threatening their very existence. It is up to a diverse group of magic users and spirits to solve the mysteries surrounding ancient Annihilations and so save Shade from extinction.
Ah ha! The answer to why.
So I opened up a new project in Scrivener and started adding some of my existing writing and reframing it according to this scenario. Wow. It’s actually starting to make sense as a story. Sometimes I have had to cut pieces and other times I have added “place holders” ( my word for a scene where I’ve written the idea but nothing else).
Anyway, thanks for reading what is essentially a post to myself.
As a bit of writing inspiration I point you at another blogger whose words about writing spoke to me today: Write Your Book, Or You’ll Die Alone and Be Forgotten When You’re Gone (and your files will be erased by strangers).
Look after yourselves.