This time, I want to say a few words about story outlining, plotting and the works, because last night I spent 4 hours plotting instead of sleeping and now my whole night rhythm is ruined :D
In that space of time, I finished the following parts of a new story:
The themeAs always, erotica with a touch of violence. I had a few stints in non-erotic fiction, but they always end up feeling boring and kinda too serious to be fun. So, gay love, yeah! Much more fun to imagine guys smooching.
The genreSince I'm still writing the last paragraphs of my paranormal stories, I stuck to a sci-fi and futuristic setting. My brain sometimes decides to act like a muscle, and the same mental movement ("Vampire, Werewolf, violence, Vampire, Werewolf, violence,...") is tiresome. I settled on "Cyberpunk", because I keep coming back to a song by the band 'Archive', namely "Bullets", and there's a great trailer-teaser for an up and coming PC game called "Cyberpunk 2077" featuring that song. I liked the mood, so there you have it, genre found.
The topicThis one was tricky. I didn't want to do another simple romance flick, so I went cross-country through different issues I had pondered in the past. Those thoughts keep popping up whenever I need them, I like my muscle-brain! :D
Sooo. Topic. Since Cyberpunk already has some restrictions, I based everything on a dystopic future and filled it with things I wanted to try out. One of them is a soylent green kind of idea, the other one is polyamory, because I have doubts about the longevity of the concept of marriage in the future. And finally, because I can't stay away, violence and implants.
The storylineOh, what I hard time I had with this :D If you've got nothing but this one idea ("I really want to write something in the cyberpunk genre, there's not enough of that around"), it's hard work to make something of it. I started with writing cliff notes for my characters, three protagonists, one main antagonist, one minor antagonist, and gave them names and relations. Not much, just the basics, like what their jobs are, their biggest flaws, their biggest strengths, their special ability, and so on. I juggled them around until their descriptions made sense before even touching the storyline itself, brooded over this for a while and then began a rough draft of what might happen.
It's a good idea to keep in mind that a story needs a conflict of some kind, because that main conflict will help you create everything else. A story always has more than one conflict, and the main one doesn't even have to be obvious, but having it, starting it at the beginning, keeping it going throughout and finally resolving it in the end gives you something to hang on to. I hadn't done this in the past, but I tried it this time and boy, does that work out well!
I decided on multiple conflicts for this storyline, the main one being the plan of my antagonist and the one cinch in it, a document that my main protagonist stole unknowingly. To keep the sub-plot going, I decided to give the shy second protagonist qualms about polyamory and a deep love for the main protagonist, who doesn't do monogamy. I bridged their differences with the third protagonist, who unknowingly helps them find a way to be together. And to throw a stick in, I added a bit of conflicting backgrounds and flaws.
Just by thinking those things through, I was able to write a 3,000 words long storyline with chapters, markers for the important climaxes and resolutions, and a harmonious finale.
And finally, the charactersI'm not sure if I can actually explain how I build them. When I get bored, my conscious nods off and goes to night-night-world, where I imagine situations and daydream. I remember about as much of those daydreams as I do from my nightly ones, but sometimes a feeling, a snapshot or something else from that sticks to my brain long enough to write it down. It's like, ever tried to imagine a real asshole? I sometimes do that, and then start to shuffle through all the different versions I can possibly think of. Then I add some other condition, like 'what would he have to be like for me to like him anyway?', and there my brain goes.
This is how I build my characters. I find out what kind of character I want (Asshole? Loser? Good son/daughter? Filthy rich? Joe Bloke?) and build on it, write down cliffnotes and decide what their biggest flaws and biggest strengths should be. Only after I have that, I try to find a reason as to why they are as they are, what they should be when I'm finished with them, and finally, what they look like and what kinds of habits and mannerisms they have.
And if there is something I can't think of, I simply leave it blank and fill it in once I've started writing. Sometimes, the spur of the moment ideas are the best.
So, this is what I did last night. If I wanted to, I could start writing right now, but then I'd have another unfinished story and another drain on my creative energy, so I'll leave it to simmer :)
Back to work now!
Kisses and hugz,