Wednesday, February 1, 2012

02/01/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Welcome back everyone! It's the first day of February and I'm glad to have you here. January exploded by, so I'm still a bit surprised. It feels like the new year just started and that we should still have at least another week left, but oh well!

Today we (should) finish telling the basic story of Phillipe. Last week we introduced both the antagonist and the love interest (to simplify things) and all of the players are currently in their places. What we need to do today is bring everything together for a triumphant close.

The nice thing about the addition of someone from the 'outside' i.e. love interest, who we'll call Nicolette for now, is that she asks questions. The loveable street urchin asked them too, but his were more based on how to survive in the world he had been introduced to. No, the ones Nicolette asks are about Phillipe's live itself, it will be the final piece in bringing him full circle because he will be remembering images of his past and his motivations for joining up with the gang in the first place.

Something you can do to build tension, and this goes with that dissension in the ranks, is have someone who isn't quite happy with Phillipe's decision to keep the woman alive and/or works with the antagonist overhear the conversation and start building up an attack against Phillipe. When Phillip mentions what happened to his father, they will have what they need and the antagonist can go after Phillipe's mother. This will build up to the powerful climax where Phillipe (and his people) will have to chose what course of action they wish to take.

Now, there are many different routes you can take here, and it all depends on the type of ending you want. If you want something positive, obviously you have Phillipe win, if you want to give a message that for simplicity's sake is 'crime doesn't pay' have Phillipe lose and/or die, if you want more of a bittersweet melancholy or neutral ending have someone that isn't Phillipe die (like the love interest, the boy, the loyal #2) but still have him be victorious elsewhere (he gets his revenge, saves his mother, what have you). No matter what ending you pick, make sure that the loose ends are tied up, unless of course you're trying to write a sequel later and you want those unanswered/unfinished things to be brought up in it. Leaving too many questions unanswered and then never doing anything with them causes reader frustration, though I suppose it gets people talking about the book so...hmmm

The idea of an epilogue is one that I particularly like. "The Light Rises" has one, as will the other stories I'm working on. They work well for closure and also to give an idea of what's to happen in future stories (if there are any), but they aren't always necessary, so don't feel the need to smash one in just because you think the story has to have one in order to be complete. That isn't necessarily true, if the story is done, it's done, let it stay that way. If you tack on an epilogue it's going to feel as such and if you want the reader to come away with a certain feeling (like the one from the final scene) you will have to be careful not to have that taken away with the epilogue.

Thanks everyone for reading the building of Phillipe. I actually super likes this character, and this was incredibly fun. If anyone would like for me to do this again, or make a small outline, let me know and I can put something together for examples. Come back Friday for our first book of February!

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