Stopping to Ask for Directions

It’s becoming clear that I’m using the story, characters, and relationship dynamics in Jackal as a way to work things out in my personal life. I’ve gotten too close to this project, which is preventing me from getting any farther. I don’t wish to file Jackal away in my ever-growing story file. At the same time, I’m learning about works that deal with a similar premise of seeing the dead or interacting with the dead (I recently started watching Dead Like Me, which is an excellent show thus far). Sure, my story is different but I don’t want to wear out a premise that already has quite a bit of treatment lately in recent print, TV and movies because heaven knows, that if I wished to do so, I’d begin crafting a story about vampires. If I’m going to carry on with Jackal, it better be able to offer something different.

I’m considering utilizing the aid of a plot generator, much as Star has previously mentioned using (Star, if you’re reading this, do you still have that link handy? I muddled around your archives but couldn’t find it). It’s a rather backwards way to do things (ideally, you use a plot generator FIRST) and I don’t know if I’ll be able to let certain plot specifics go in order to accommodate new ones. On the other hand, using such a tool may help give me some direction. Even if it only acts as a spring board, it will be well worth trying.

Unfortunately, writing will have to wait for the moment, as I focus on moving the Starrynight website off of a CMS.

Details, Details

Found this rotting in my Drafts folder:

A self-sequestered night at Owen Valley Flooring while Russell worked at the drive-in a few months ago proved to be productive. I did some more exploring of Ramona’s character. I’m good about getting character traits but not always good about translating those into physical choices. Car or public transit? If a car, is this car fun? Fuel efficient? Merely operational? Sometimes, details help paint a better picture of the character. If I tell you that she loves funky hats, you may already have an idea of who she is or even what she looks like. Incidentally, Ramona doesn’t like hats at all and she rarely bothers with accessories, much to her best friend’s chagrin. Sketching out such details helped me discover who Ramona is. She’s not fussy. She prefers to keep things simple. She’s a little lazy. She’s unhappy because she’s static. She isn’t growing as a person and her friends aren’t helping her in this matter.

It was a little bizarre figuring out when she was born and what kind of culture she grew up in. She would have been roughly 5 or 6 when Pinky and the Brain first aired. She is of generation that always had cell phones (and her mom insisted that she have one when she was quite young, even though Ramona didn’t use it much until later in high school). I also found out more about her family dynamic and how this might affect relationships in the future.

Note to self: don’t ignore the details.