First, let me acknowledge the real world long enough to say, yes, the new patch is going live today. Rah. Lot’s I’m looking forward to. Most especially, the servers being back up… eventually.
Moving on to other things…
Last night, I was able to spend a short period of time in vent actually chatting with a few friends, Kaelynn and Jardal, and after a brief moment where Jardal tried to completely destroy my future blogging and gameplaying productivity by sending me to read Darths and Droids, the topic turned to writing.
Kaelynn has started writing a new blog, and I told her that I thought her writing was outstanding. I like the way she spends as much time writing so that her thoughts are entertaining to read, as she does making sure she has an informative point to share.
We spent a little time going back and forth over what kind of blogs we read, what kind of blog writing we enjoy, and a little gushing over bloggers that talk about the art of writing itself, most especially Tami Moore and Bre and the Saucy Wenches podcast.
Along the way, we talked about writing itself, and I guess a bit about plotting out a story or a blog post, deciding what to write and how to feel about, the attitude, etc.
We may have discussed my PBeM story from the sidebar, and I may have let slip some spoilers, based on future plot developments as examples. May, I say.
A nice old fashioned chat about things near and dear to our creative little hearts.
I check out my feedreader this morning, and coincidentally enough, Tami posted a new one, delving into how you as a writer might react when someone asks you what you do… or what you write about.
I love her suggestion that you practise how to respond for the next time someone may ask you… and how she is taking it from the point of view of someone being asked politely.
But she does mention in passing people who react poorly to finding out what topics you choose to write about, and how to prepare to handle it so you show some class and aren’t flustered.
Personally, I’ve long been of the opinion that if people go to the effort of inquiring after what exactly I write about, and then want to get pissy with me or cop an attitude when I tell them I write about stuff mostly in a video game, or write fantasy fiction, of military-fantasy, or just describe the random thoughts a swirling in my head, then I’m grateful to them for it, because to heck with ’em. It lets me know to ignore them as close minded little asshats in the future, and life’s too short for including them in my plans.
One thing I’d like to talk about in greater depth, though, is her mentioning the importance of being able to briefly describe the main theme of your current writing project or enthusiasm. What those learned, educated peopleses call a synopsis.
I really do think it’s important for a lot of writing projects to be able to capture in your own mind a rough idea of where you’re starting from, where you’d like to go, and how you’d like to get there.
I find that, aside from being able to explain a writing project to someone else, it also helps me to be able to focus in on what the heart of the story is meant to be, and to get a better feel for what is, or is not important to getting there.
Like my current writing project, the Play by Email game you’ve been reading (I hope), Converging Forces.
In order to provide a synopsis, I can say;
Converging Forces is a story where two people of wildly different backgrounds, each shattered by the past and the losses of their families and all that they held dear, one young and full of promise and passion, the other older and vastly more experienced but lacking direction, focus and hope, both become united in a common cause, and find within each other a feeling of family and trust that leads them both, together out of the darkness of their pasts and towards an unknown future that looks bright as the dawn, so long as they face it side by side.
That’s it in a nutshell, for me. It tells me where I was starting the story, where I intended this part of the story to end, and the ground I wanted to travel along the way.
Sure, there are tons of details. But to me, the heart of any story is really the people, who they are, how they got there, and where they are going. Their growth, their personalities.
If you’ve read where we’re at with Converging Forces, then you already know that how the tale is told, and what happens along the way, might have a little more meat to the bones than the synopsis. :)
Sure, there are aspects of the story that I found fascinating, that I wanted to tell, but all of them are just that; aspects of the story. They’re not the heart of the story, the single over-arching tale that constitutes the beginning, middle and ending of the book.
Implicit in the synopsis is that this book will end when the two main characters have met, and forged a relationship of some kind that will carry them forward into new adventures together.
Here’s another one. It’s for a series I intended to write someday, but never really have taken the time to tear into it.
The Psychic Wars is a series of stories about the breakthrough development of psychic power, and the discovery of a realm of spirit accessible by those with powerful enough psychic ability, all of which came about during the intensive research efforts that also resulted in the first atomic bomb and the end of World War II. An alternate history story, the main characters were test subjects, people from various diverse backgrounds and cultures within the melting pot that is America of the 1940s, and brought together after special testing found they possessed what might be latent psychic powers.
The setting of the stories follows what happens when the inner mind hidden behind the public faces of different strangers is revealed by psychic powers. The results of what happens when one person can truly know, without any doubt, exactly what another person thinks and feels. What happens when two people who both possess psychic powers sees inside the mind and thoughts and feelings of the other, and how they each deal not only with what the other person thinks of them, but also how the other person reacts to what the first thinks of how the other reacted. No secrets. No surprises. Everything open and exposed and revealed without masks.
What happens when some of these people find love together, and others find a power over the powerless that they’ve always craved.
And what happens when the US Government and Military in wartime tries to forge these people and their newly developing, poorly understood powers into weapons against the enemy.
Psychic assassins, spies and counter-spies, fighting against the enemy where your power comes not from muscle or guns or reflexes, but from strength of will, imagination and the ability to visualize, and from a determination to make something a reality.
An alternate reality where war becomes a thing not of brute force against brute force and the rattling of atomic sabres, but of clandestine missions and stolen knowledge, of secrets stolen from the mind and important leaders dying in their sleep.
All of that is story settings and such, and you might think that was the synopsis. But it’s not.
The heart of the series, the synopsis, is that of a classic love triangle, where two strangers, with barriers of culture and language between them, discover through a shattering sharing of minds and hearts and souls that they are truly two that become one, who learn all that there is to know of each other in a sharing of self, and become united forever in love. In their union of self, they leave behind an outsider, a third, who had wanted the woman for himself, a fragile spirit of ego that, when faced with the ultimate rejection, one telepath to another, nothing hidden, no possibility of pretending that the other person doesn’t understand or know who they really are, becomes gripped in rage and jealousy and, eventually, murderous destruction.
You see? I could talk about settings, and missions, and exciting night time chases through the dreams of the living in Prague as the hero tries to intercept the dream traveler assassin, and prevent the death of an important ambassador for peace between warring nations, but thats not the heart of the story that drives all the main character’s motivations. That’s just the stuff they do along the way.
And you know what? I need to get back to work. Holy cow.