Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Writing craft

Story indebtedness is a fairly new concept to me. But it has become very useful. So I'm going to share the small bit of knowledge I've gleaned in the hopes I'll get smarter as I try to explain the idea.

Indebtedness is the reason a particular character is in this story. The inclusion criteria boils down to a single moment in time that was the deciding factor in making them in the person they are at the beginning of the story. Naturally, the protagonists grow and change during, and because of the events happening in, the tale.

Every writer works differently, but I cheat on indebtedness, working the character's defining moment in after the story is through the first draft. But knowing that I need this core piece of motivation helps, even though I insert it after the story has considerable meat on its bones.

The knowing part sends a message to the swamp monster, who lies deep inside and deals with character motivation and other emotional issues. The sullen beast requires time to digest things before it sends anything usable to the surface. I write between bulletins from the swamp and completely bitchy demands from an anal shrew of a internal editor.

Life in the jungle is tough.


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