Monday, September 21, 2009

Plot, Old Movies and Super Powers

Tonight my kids watched The Sword and the Stone. I remember watching the movie as a child and really liking it. My kids were very interested in it. But today as I listened to it while I did various chores around the house I started wondering about the plot. Did every scene included drive the plot forward? Was every scene necessary? And additionally was every part of the scene necessary?

Thinking about my Isis novel and the changes I want to make to it and then thinking about my current novel and the plot line I've roughly sketched out. I've asked myself that same question does each scene move the plot forward?

There are a few scenes in Isis that are really just info dumps. I did a lot of world building through conversation, but Dane and Isis are building their relationship as well, so I thought it would work. Now I'm thinking not so much. So I've reinvented the plot slightly. I'm adding a few totally new scenes, making a few changes so that my scenes work, reordering a few things and then each scene will matter. And it makes Isis' motivations much stronger.

With my next story Selena is my main character and right now my story wants to go another direction from the plot. My gut is telling me that the scenes I want to write don't move the plot forward. I want to show some inner conflict and world contrasting, but it feels like it is just going the wrong way. I didn't add to the plot this weekend because I wanted to make sure I was taking the story the right direction. And the more I think it about the more I think my gut reaction is right. If I were reading I'd want to keep reading the direction that I'm trying to write.

Finally superpowers. My son is going to sleep tonight and made these observations.

Caleb: If I can see what just happened at Grandma's house, is that my mind?

Me: No that's your imagination

Caleb: No it's real. It really happened, so is it my mind?

Me: Sure it's your mind (I figure it's happening in his mind right?)

Caleb: Oh and I can see through walls

Then he went to sleep. I'd love some super powers. Not that long ago I was on a ladies night out and all of us had to answer the question for what super power they'd want and why. Me I'd love the ability to get the cooking and cleaning done in ten minutes. That's my kind of super power. A lot of people said flying, but that's not me. I wouldn't mind being able to move very fast, speed of light fast. Yeah, that'd be mine.

So what's your superpower and why?


Cecily said...

I think mine would be to see into the future--even if, like, 5 minutes. That way, I could anticipate what needed to get done or how I would need to react to things to keep everyone happy.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I'm impressed at all the reworking you are doing to your book. Thinking about reworking my book that is only half-finished is a little daunting. One step at a time... My super powers would be right in line with yours.

L.T. Elliot said...

Plotting and pace are hard things. I find I struggle with these too, especially when it comes to setting. How can setting NOT become boring?

Superpowers? I think I'd just settle for a longer lifespan. That would be my super power.