clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Dangers of Love

Its here. We've been holding off in my part of the world with a lengthy autumn.

Friday night we drove my convertible roadster to dinner for probably the last time. Yesterday and today, snow. Ice pellets are hitting my windows here in the dark right now.

I'm by the stove surrounded by contented pets. I'm writing. It's how I'll spend the winter evenings when I'm not in the library or tying trout flies.

At left, my entirely too bear-like paws on the keyboard.

I've a story which I'v been chasing for a bit. I didn't know until this morning that I'd been chasing the wrong conflict.

Years ago, Ms. June Sutley taught a crew of belligerent and unruly baboons about point of view, conflict, the three act structure of storytelling, and the Chekhov rules of screenwriting.

What I didn't learn then but know too well now was that in writing the story, the conflict which emerges isn't always that which the writer intended when he scrawled those opening sentences. Thus, it happened to me this morning. I had intended for one conflict to be the dominant driver yet it is entirely a different conflict which makes the story work.

If I'd forced the next draft the way I'd intended when I first jotted my notes on the story, I'd have lost what makes the story work.

I've got a couple bodies. I've got danger and intrigue. I've got an uncertain resolution.

I've also got a protagonist unlucky in love and and entirely too willing to walk into the dragon's den to find it.

Isn't that the way of it? Don't we like characters who knowingly act against the very advice they'd offer another character in a heartbeat? Of course we do -- when there's good cause.

My protagonist is a sucker for a dangerous woman. That last part -- a dangerous woman -- is always a pretty good cause.

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