Saturday, August 20, 2011

Donna’s Journal
Brevity is the Soul of Wit; or
Dog Days Edition II

Time has gotten the better of me this Friday, so I just have a few brief notes to pass on. The good news is that I have returned to work on my WIP Fools Rush In, the third in my Interstellar Rescue series, this one set entirely away from Earth. I discovered the missing element in that story, the piece that, like a misfiring piston, was keeping the engine from starting up. It should have been obvious, but for some reason, it wasn’t.

The story lacked a villain.

Oh, it had generic bad guys and forces that worked against my hero and heroine and all that. Things happened that kept them from their goal (and from each other). There was even a mysterious mastermind behind the dimwitted plotters who are murdered before they can talk. It was like my writer’s intuition had been screaming at me for chapters to invent this guy, and I just wasn’t listening. I was dragging my feet and hemming and hawing and things were going SO SLOWLY, all because I wasn’t paying attention to what my instincts were trying to tell me.

Villainy needs a face. And a name. And his or her own motivation. In short, the villain should be a distinct CHARACTER, not just Evil or The Others or some such. Seems so easy when you put it like that, right? (Well, it IS just a first draft, after all!)

I suspect the plotting will go much faster now that I’ve got my ears on straight.

Although my plan to read my way out of the doldrums seems to be working, I’m not about to give up just yet. My current read is Eloisa James’s delightful A Kiss Before Midnight, the Cinderella story retold as only the very funny queen of historical romance can do it. I thought James’s Regency take on TV’s House was a hoot, but this one is even better. I’ve been laughing out loud for days and falling in love with the hero and heroine at the same time. Wonderful!

Cheers, Donna

1 comment:

  1. Ooh I like Eloisa James too!!
    And it's funny isn't it how something just comes to you to make everything right again. I had a character I HAD to have in the story because there needed to be an employee but he had no role other than that. Suddenly occured to me - make him a werewolf and give him another job to do - it was so obvious - fitted perfectly and bingo - I like the story again!!


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