Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Plot twists.

This will be short, but I felt like blogging, so I'm going to. I was thinking today how much I like it when books surprise me. Really surprise me. So I decided that in Shattered Ice (that's my WIP...I decided that I need to just be satisfied with the title, and stop being so obnoxiously picky) I needed more things that were surprising. It's not that the storyline is predictable so much as linear - looking back at my outline, I think that once someone got about halfway through, they could roughly guess what else would happen, and how it would end. So now I've targeted three specific events, and have thought of ways to change them so that it will really keep people on their toes to read it. I already changed two things in my outline, but I still have to mull over the third, because it involves the very end, and I have several ideas that I can't decide between. I'll have to think about it some more, I suppose.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New writing

So I epic fail at creating titles for things. Seriously. Maybe that'll just be the title of my WIP: 'epic fail'. I wonder if I would get some agents who took a look at it just because it was so ridiculous. I'm kidding, though. I wouldn't take that risk. All I've thought of for a title so far is 'The Thaw', but nothing thaws. So...it's lame. And can't be the title. But I outlined my whole thing and wrote the first chapter, and I'm sort of excited about it. I didn't expect to be, because I decided to write it in first person, which I don't like doing, and because I still feel like I'm cheating on Ignited. Although I remember feeling that way when I first started writing Ignited about the thing that I wrote before that (from which I actually stole characters...shhhh.) The thing before Ignited has no chance of ever being published (ignoring the fact that I never finished it), but I really believe that Ignited does have a chance, so I guess that's the difference. Anyway, I feel like going on for a bit on how I came up with the idea of untitled WIP. Is that interesting? Maybe. I like hearing how people come up with things. So here goes.

I developed a strange fixation with mammoths, and that's where I first decided I wanted to write something new. But I had nothing in mind at all, except that I wanted there to be mammoths, so I sort of shoved that into the back of my mind. I admire historical fiction writers so, so much, but I don't have it in me to do the work required to write an accurate historical fiction that takes place in prehistoric times. Jean M. Auel did that anyway, and way better than I ever could dream of. (People should read her books, by the way. Not enough people my age have read them, and they're incredible.)

So yes. I had the mammoth fixation. And then a few days ago, I was reading the sixth Harry Potter (for the...seventeenth time?) and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I got this really strong feeling that I had a story idea. Except I didn't know what it was. So I tried to figure out what sparked it, and I was filtering all these random things through my brain like wizards, magic, etc (you know, the things you'd think Harry Potter would trigger), but none of them seemed to be my idea. I still, actually, don't know what it was that made me think I had an idea. Maybe just that I love reading Harry Potter so much that it gave me the urge to write. But later that evening, when I was watching Cops, which requires very little attention to enjoy, the gist of my idea FINALLY came to me, so I wrote it down (very roughly.)

I wanted to write something that happened after there had been an ice age. At first, I wasn't sure if it should be on this planet or another one, but I ended up deciding to use this one. And I set it long after the ice age occurs, and with everyone having lost modern day technology because of it, and living in caves sort of like people did during prehistoric times. And then I added in creatures like mammoths & sabre-toothed cats & a few species of dinosaurs, because I wanted the world to be dangerous and - let's face it - I couldn't let my weird mammoth obsession quite die. I haven't quite firmed up my explanation for how these specific creatures came to be living all at the same time, or how they returned from extinction after the ice age, but I've got the general picture. Science experiments, for a brief explanation.

I decided that I wanted the main plot to have to do with some sort of mutant creature that killed the MC's entire village (which happens at the very beginning - how morbid am I?!) so she has to go elsewhere. I originally planned for the majority of the book to be about having to hunt down and attempt to kill the dangerous creature, but it's sort of gone on from there. I had it burst out from a giant ice formation, and that just added way too many possibilities to ignore. I'm not going to go into much more detail, because where's the fun in that? But basically, I'm sending the MC and three others down into the hole, where they're going to find the laboratory that the creature escaped from, a remnant of pre-ice age Earth (complete with dangers, and humans...) And The End on me sharing things about my idea, otherwise no one will want to read it because you'll already know the whole summary!