Not how to do it. that’s what I was doing yesterday.
In the fiction, I’ve written myself into a situation where a character I thought was brief walk-on has turned into an important secondary. (Hurrah for seat of the pants writing.) That was mostly ok, except she suddenly went schizophrenic in my mind. Or rather she split into three different parts and I couldn’t write one without the other two screaming epithets in my mind. and no, merging them isn’t possible. The dwarf and elf wouldn’t agree, and the human is so different from those two it’s entirely wrong.
So I wrote pretty close to 5,000 words of background trying to let the little man in the back of my mind figure out who the real Wendi might be. I wrote more of the elves, more of the dwarves, and a bit more about how magic works. In the process I discovered I need to do a lot more thinking.
In a nutshell, “why”. No, not why are they here, now, or why can some people do magic (now). I’ve got that covered in a pseudo-scientific manner, one that will work for a handwave but will drive physicists and a few other really knowledgeable people nuts. (But do they read urban fantasy? Probably not, if magic does that to them. except for the ones who like to slice up the ignorant, and if they buy my book they’re welcome to their scalpels.) but I digress.
But rather, what’s driving the elves and the dwarves besides my almost cardboard underpoint? Why does [wendi? someone else?] interact with Mike that way? For that matter, what’s “that way”? What are the societal cues and habits that make the behavior automatic?
That’s what’s getting me. Yes, to some extent it’s overthinking. After all, this is the story of Mike, who discovers at the age of 32 that he can do magic. Real magic. And it’s a matter of life, death, and maybe love.
But the other characters have stories too, whether they’re told or just implied, some of which are driven by their societies (just as Mike is a white lower-middle class American male with all the positives and negatives that brings along.)
Antagonist X (any of a few) is not a bad guy in his/her eyes. I’m trying to figure out why.
So no additional words to the story, but thousands more to the background. Which I will then attempt to NOT turn into an infodump.
Oh – the cooking book. Didn’t write any over the last two days (just didn’t flip that way), but had an epiphany last night and have an itch.
I’m going to write it as a bunch of blog posts. Short 500 to 750 word “chapters” written similar to the fashion I do in this blog. Except with some solid editing to include rearrangement for logical progression. Or at least logical grouping. Remember, it is meant to be a cooking book, not a cook book. That, by the way, is as much reminder to myself as it is message to you.
Have fun, and I need to get back to the grindstone.