10/19/10

Going Where Your Story Takes You

     I grew up smack dab in the middle of the Sunshine state, surrounded by orange groves, woods, and swamps. The perfect setting for a book, right? Why then, you might ask, does my recently published book, Bloodsworn: Bound by Magic, start out in northern California and end up on another world half way across the galaxy? One word: Plot.

     We, as writers, sometime have no control over where the story takes us. The setting has to fit the plot. For instance, Stephanie Myers’ Twilight series would have been another story altogether if set in sunny Florida instead of Forks, Washington. Edward might never have been allowed to sparkle in sunlight since it’s sunny here most every day. Another plot-line would be needed for him to be able to attend school—or maybe he might not have gone to school at all. He would have had to meet Bella on a dark and stormy night, making Twilight more like Midnight. See what I mean?
     Going where your story takes you means being a bit flexible, too. You might want to write about New Orleans, but if the plot calls for snow, you’re out of luck. Sure, you can change the plot line to fit the location, but again we’re talking about changing the whole aspect of the story. Instead of a snowball fight between your main characters ending in a sweet first kiss, they’re tossing sugar-coated beignets at one another and ending up...
     Hmmm. Well maybe that’s not such a bad plot change after all. (LOL) Okay, time to shelve the first story and head off to New Orleans’ CafĂ© Du Monde for a hot-blooded beignet battle. Powdered sugar anyone?