I’ve been portalling and outlining. Mainly portalling. Finished it last night, was left in a state of near-shock at how amazing it was. Literally jaw-dropping. I gaped. Quite a bit. It was one of those things where I was too overwhelmed to laugh or cry or do anything but stare.
Meanwhile, I’ve finished up one of the story arc outlines and I’ve moved onto the next. This one I have a little more idea about–I know how it’s going to end, pretty much, and I have a vague shape of how things need to go, I just have to figure out how to put it all together. I did outline a short little bit last night that I’m happy with–something I’m sometimes guilty of, as a writer, is ‘telling’ about background events, things that are happening in the world that aren’t directly relevant to the actual story. I think this is okay sometimes, but it’s far better to figure out a way to show what’s happening, through a character or through small actions–the ‘small picture’ illustrating the ‘big picture’. It’s all very well to say something like “this country is gearing up for war”, but much, much better to have soldiers trooping through the streets, to have recruiters calling out on the corners, to have people be nervous and private and untrusting of strangers with accents, to have the price of everything be higher–all these little details so that you never even need to say ‘this country’s getting ready to fight’. I think that should be always be a goal of writers, to avoid, wherever possible, having to explicitly say something. This is especially true of character emotions, something like “Ashley was angry” shouldn’t ever be necessary–exceptions exist, of course, immediately after writing that I thought of two ways it could work (both playing for laughs), but still. And of course, at times it’s better to just exposit and be done with it. Some of the worst writing comes about when an author’s trying too hard to show when telling would be more elegant.
But anyway. Interested in statistics? Even if you’re not then you should watch this: