anthimeria: Mask of feathers (Feather Face)
Lauren K. Moody ([personal profile] anthimeria) wrote2015-01-19 07:40 pm
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I feel like a bouncy ball, a little sore all over but still excited

WAAAAAAAAY back toward the end of 2013, I mentioned briefly on here that I was worldbuilding for an urban fantasy YA book, and scrolling through my entries, it looks like that's ALL I mentioned.  It got usurped by Trial and The Forest War and The Novel and eventually my YA steampunk, which was my most recent project.

But the YA steampunk book has screeched to a halt over the matter of plot--as in, not having one that works with the wonderful characters and world I built--and the short I was working on fizzled, and I'm not in the mood to deal with the latest round of crit on The Novel.  Hence feeling like I've been bouncing around like a superball.

Since it's been so long since I worked on the UF YA, I couldn't remember how much work I'd done, so I decided to go back and check.  I remember feeling overwhelmed.  There's a lot of detail and a lot of worldbuilding and like, twelve important characters.  I'd hit a wall.

It turns out, though, that a year and a half of perspective brought me to a place where I could see that I'd done enough.  That it was okay to not have twelve fully-fleshed-out character bios.  That the pieces of outline I had, along with acknowledging and using inspirational sources, were enough to get going on a real three-act plot outline.

So spent a week or so refamiliarizing myself with all the materials, re-read some of the original research, and then set-to with a will.  And created what seems to be a sound outline in three days.

Just . . . damn.  It's been a really long time since I had writing flow that easily, even if it was outlining.  Every time I hit a wall, it was a sign I needed to go away and come back, and I did so, and when I came back, I could poke at it and come up with a great plot twist.

For the first time, also, I am writing something that could be called horror, or at least have a horror subgenre.  I've never been into horror (I'm a total scaredy-cat and always have been), but Seanan McGuire, who is pretty much my favorite grownup author, is very horror-oriented.  Ever since I started reading and following her online, I've come to the conclusion that she's very smart about stories and that horror might have something for me, if I could get past the stomach-churning and triggery stuff to get at what good horror actually does.

Whether or not this book ends up being more or less horror oriented, reading articles about how horror works got me through the outline.  It reminded me that characters need to make decisions that get them in worse trouble, that jump scares should happen when your reader and character are experiencing relief that they escaped, and that if your characters are secure in their plan, the only thing to do is have the entire plot change direction.

I need some time away from this outline now, to make sure I didn't miss any obvious plot holes or places where my character arc should show up, but . . . right now this feels not only solid on a plot and character level, but like a YA book I could sell.

The excitement is making me a little light-headed, but it's also awesome.

Of course, the damn thing doesn't have a title, but we can call it the Swan book.

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