We all know them: those people who will do and say anything. (For the record, I'm not one of those people.) I think there is a strange irony to such people. They appear to have no limits. They push boundaries, stretch parameters, and make the world a more interesting place by showing us just how wide and wonderful it can be. However, I do believe such people have firm limits and know exactly where they are. A seemingly limitless person is comfortable in her own skin because she knows exactly where she leaves off and the world begins.
I have no idea where my boundaries are. Actually, I believe I don't have any. I'm always caught up in the tailspin of the world, not so much like an ant, but more the way chocolate is stirred into milk.
On the other hand, I don't like to flail about searching for a wall to lean against, so I stop well before finding out where it is.
I'm plot-checking my first book. That sounds odd coming from someone who has written five books, but I plot after I finish drafting. (I do usually have a good idea of the direction the story will take. I write it down and it deviates; I keep it in my head and it stays on track. It's weird that way.)
Usually I plot right after the first draft, but I was operating under the niave impression that this tome was so inspired it didn't need something so mundane as plot-checking.
My crit group begged to differ.
So now I'm outlining internal and external conflicts for every scene (lo and behold, most scenes do appear have both!) and I'm putting my characters' struggles down on notepaper, in plain language. I've only done Aidan so far, the easy one, and again lo and behold if it isn't a coming-of-age story for him. I'll be damned. Kaelin's going to be far more complicated, and I have about ten other characters to outline as well. And yeah, that's just for this book.
Last night, someone asked me what my second book was about. I said that on the surface, it's about one of the characters learning to kill people, but deeper down it's about his learning to care about the people he kills--feel guilt and all that. I think that surprised him.
I am suffering from the mother of all hangovers, btw. If you're curious, it was a good night. I, shall we say, flailed about, looking for a wall. I didn't find one.
I posted over at the other blog, btw. It's called Keeping Your Cool and it's where I focus on parenting. I'm trying to generate fodder for a non-fic parenting book.