Thursday, August 19, 2010

More thoughts on core events and creating story...

Yeah, I'm a geek. What can I say? All that work clearing out what I mean for the videos is making me think. Organic structure is so...huge. And I know I keep saying that, but I've barely scratched the tip of the iceberg. It's the whole theory behind pantsing, why it works--how to make it flow, and how to shape it later, and I'm only now starting to realize the reason there's been so little work done on it is because pantsers and plotters are vastly different kinds of people.

I always pictured a core event as a bullseye. A center? Made up of bits, pieces, rings and wrappers like Saturn and a Vietnamese spring roll. I'd never put thought into the "mechanism" that pulled the bits and pieces out to interact with the story. If the pieces of your character drive the story, then something needs to go through the core event like a two-pointed arrow with one half pointed inward at the tangled wants, needs and emotions that make up the character, while the other half points out, at the story.

And they spin--because characters aren't static. At any given time, the points that face outward toward the story, aren't the same, which means characters are always in flux.

Jane doesn't just wake up and decide to be jealous, she needs a specific trigger so the point facing outward will hook out the jealousy in reaction. In other words, if Jane met a woman, she'd be indifferent, but if she met a secure, pretty pageant queen she's going to be jealous, because she has self-doubt locked into place by her core event.

Back to the script, because it needs a little work.



Hailey Edwards said...

*passes chocolate*

The way core events shape characters is interesting.

I'm working through revisions now, and it's weird. The plot, the hero, the heroine's secondary--basically every little thing and body have to stay the same while the heroine changes. Only, she has to react the same way, or the plot won't work.

It's kind of like watching a rat in a maze. I've created Heroine 2.0 and set her loose in the box I've built for her. Now she's bouncing off the walls and trying to find her way to the end. LOL

jodi said...

...hmmm, that's interesting. You mean the heroine has an arc, but everyone else is static?

Heroine 2.0, lol. It's cool that she's come alive that way. :)

Hailey Edwards said...

My editor and my heroine had a personality clash. She loves the book, and everyone in it--except the heroine.

Enter heroine 2.0

I exchanged the most critical core event for 2.0 in the hopes of correcting the problem.

Instead of parents whose indifference caused her to be socially awkward, she now has parents who were overprotective. I'm blaming her being homeschooled with limited interaction with people her own age and of the opposite sex for causing her social awkwardness.

So it's not that the heroine has an arc while everyone else is static. It's that she was given a new core event, and has to react to it in a way that is true to 2.0's character, while not unraveling the story.

I guess in that way, in these revisions, everyone else is static. lol

I hope this made some kind of sense. My brain doesn't work properly in the morning. Now off to bed...:D

jodi said...

very good core event. :) It makes a lot of sense, because she wouldn't have the baseline to be able to interact, and she'd have the choice to either model herself on her parents, something she learned somewhere in her reading or computer interactions, or maybe movies, or manga or...yeah, mind going a mile a minute.

Do you know I'm still trying to figure out the hello ritual? Guess I have a little of that social awkwardness, but..."why?" I see people every day, I know I'll see them tomorrow, why say hello or goodbye. They exist in the same "space" as me, why can't we continue the conversation and why do I have to ask them how they are? Unless I care, I don't want to know, and they don't care--and they don't want to know, so ...why the words?

I keep trying, and it works--but, it's like they're invested or something and I'm just saying stuff.

So...what is it about the people she's interacting with that they "do" that she doesn't? When my daughter changed schools from a preppy kind of school (where people talked about girl scouts, horses and sleepovers) to a lower middle class school where the kids wore makeup (!!!) carried glittery purses and talked about bands and television, she was totally lost and couldn't connect.

And...I probably don't make sense either. *sigh*