I should keep better track of the things I read. I suppose thats what Delicious and Evernote are for, but I don’t always have the time to archive serendipity. I should keep better track because when I everntually write about the things I read I’d like to link back to them for your reference. Suffice to say I did read several somethings along the lines of what I’ll write about now. I did not make this up.
That I did not ake this up should be evident in how clever it is. What I’m writing about not my writing.
A reader should be able to pick up a book, start reading at any point, and within a few paragraphs know the characters’ goals. That, for me says quite a bit. I need go no further, but will anyway.
I don’t think the authors I’ve aggregated that statement from meant that a character’s whole plot goal should be immediately apparant, though I suspect they think it should appear soon. I believe they mean a character’s scene goal; their current driving need. Worse, they expect clarity for the antagonist’s goal too; the bad guy can’t just poke your heroine in the eye he needs a reason to poke her in the eye.
These are the writing lessons I love to find. And consequently love to avoid incorporating in my writing.
Last week a wrote with this in mind, but neglected to have a goal for my antagonist. My antagonist merely through up half-hurdles for my protagonist to overcome. Looking back on the piece I didn’t like where the bad guy’s flimsey efforts were leading. Ultimately he’d have become a throwaway character and the scene would have played for no other useful reason than to introduce the protagonist by name in a clever-like way; that could have been done elsewhere and better.
OK, so. Bad guy needs a deeper life I decide. This story is not outlined at this point so I can do anything I want. Suddenly I’ve decided that our minor functionary is now the client who hired our protagonist to off the wife of his boss. Now I’ve got something I didn’t have before.
Why no, I don’t write on days I go fishing. Seems self-evident to me.
Yeah, that’s bullshit. I dropped a day and didn’t need to if I’d planned better. Though I did fish longer than I’d anticipated. And then there were the Christmas lights to take down. This week of writing has not gone the way I’d hoped but it’s right in line with how I planned. Since I didn’t plan, I can say that with high accuracy.
You got a prime berthing but you still have to walk a bit to the showers since you’re not the first to get stowed. Some weasly functionary in dockworker whites waits for you at the end of the gangway near the doorway to the pilot’s lounge. He’s eyeballed every other pilot coming in and stopped once his eyes met yours. That you could take him in a fight doesn’t enter into your mind, but you do wonder what he wants. You hope he’s not been sent as a recreational sex apology.
“Excuse ma’am…err…miss,” he asks. You pretend not to know he’s addressing you and walk on by. He’s prepared for this and good at being weasly. He smoothly matches your step and grabs your wheelie to help.
“I just want a shower. Can it wait?” you ask.
“Yes and no.” He thrusts a card into view for you to take; you don’t. He continues wrangling with the wheelie trying to gain control; you don’t let him win. After several more steps and no explanation of the card you pull up short and exasperated.
“Sorry. It’s an upgrade for the lounge. It won’t get you away from the xenos but you won’t have to wait for a hot shower. Newer towels and even a massuere.” He abandons his useless grasp on the wheelie to talk with his hands.
“Thanks.” You snatch it from him and head off to the showers. Leaving him in your wake.
“Ma’am!” There must be more than the upgrade.
“Call me Bonnie. And keep walking if you want me to listen.”
His black hair manages to make a dockworker buzz look stylish, but he’s too skinny and his eyes too small. As weasly as he is, he’s still attractive—but too young. He hurries to catch up.
A miniskid slides up to your boots. You toss on your duffel and guitar kit and go back to rummaging around the passenger’s side floorboards to find the second of two dead batts you tossed there. Perhaps you’re having trouble finding either of the batts because you’re thinking more about the security for the data-paq you’re couriering: obscurity, stealth, subterfuge, or strong-arm? Or maybe it’s all the food wrappers, the rank and stale sports-bra, and the books getting in your way.
:Yes, there’s one!:
Normally you’d do the obscurity thing without a further thought. It suits your personality and your wallet, but you’re thinking it over anyway. Stealth’s too blown from your ride in. Can’t motor in on a bitchin’ flit like this custom B’bridge and not expect people to notice. You’re too frazzed after the long jump from [planet name here] to bother with the acting that goes along with subterfuge though you could go for some man burning sex-play. Can’t have too many of those notches. Maybe you’ll fit some of that in anyway. That leaves armed guards and an impromptu parade through the core of Okkatu. And endless waiting.
:Screw it. Not waiting. Not after that ride.:
You remove the data-paq from the skid’s safe and stuff it into a day bag with your floorboard trash and laundry.
:There’s the other batt.:
I thought I’d not yet written your deboarding in the hanger, but apparently I had. Maybe I can slot this bit in before that one.