Monday, June 20, 2011

Pondering

I'm supposed to be doing homework.

But I haven't written in this blog for a while and I have something brief that's been on my mind.

Do you give yourself permission to free write?

Every once in a while, when I have the urge to write and either my current projects aren't turning out or I don't have a project (like now), I write something random. And these pieces all start with random questions.

They always end up being pertinent, either in a new or an existing story.

A couple days ago I wrote two pages on the early days of marriage between Basilie and √Čtienne. I was thinking about their sex life 20 years ago, but it turned out that I wrote a nugget that showed me his feelings when he found out she was pregnant the first time. I felt something for these two I had never felt before.

I have two more questions running around in my brain:
  1. If √Čtienne and Basilie had met before they met as I say they did, when he was 18 and she was 20, what would the encounter be and where? As if they ran into each other as strangers but never knew... what happened? Was it in a museum? A store? What did they think of each other?
  2. My secondary character of Jules the Chef... Need to explore his backstory. What was his life like in the immediate months before he enters my story?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Formulas

My brain is writing fiction even if my fingers are trying political theory. I have my first political theory paper due this week and my daughter's dance recital, the dentist and work. I'm not sleeping well, and I'm still recovering from not eating last month so I must admit, I'm tired.

My husband and I have been reading some books. We both started the Dresden Files, which my husband has committed to finishing the series and I'm more or less done after book two. I had series because they get so formulaic. The supernatural mythology in these books is what's fabulous but I've already sensed the formula. Murder + make wizard detective the prime suspect + put him in mortal danger so he has to solve the crime quickly and almost get killed doing it. What changes in each book is the supernatural creature. Which the author (Jim Butcher?) does a fabulous job constructing, I must say. But I'm bored as soon as I predict the formula because that tells me what's going to happen next.

Think about formula in the things you read or write. Do you read series? If so, is there a formula to that author's work?