The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

No writing yesterday. Watched Hurricane Ike coverage instead. Don't know if we'll have power outages here, but hope not.

I have a vague idea that, if pursued, could help me wrap my head around this project--in other word, give it a backbone and structure and goal. However, I can't quite get the idea fleshed out and pinned down in my mind. It's a big cloudy mass of...stuff. Very frustrating.

I feel like I can almost get it. Character 3 is betrayed by a trusted friend. There's something to do here--not with the betrayal per se, but with the various characters' reactions to it. Because later Character 1 is betrayed by a trusted friend. Character 2 has already been betrayed--we just don't know it. And near the end Character 3 is betrayed again, by a different person.

But what do to with all this? Maybe look at how the choices characters make about who they trust and who they don't trust drive the plot. But there's more, because I don't know what I want to say about trust--which means the book has no point. I don't really have anything to say about trust. My personal views about trust are that you're probably better off not relying on it too much; it's more important to consistently act with integrity (whatever that means to you) so that you can trust yourself, respect yourself, rely on yourself. You can't take those around you for granted or assume that they'll have your back always and forever, no matter what.

Don't trust anybody but yourself seems like a terribly negative theme to impose on a book. It's also not what I want to say.

However, there is something I've been wanting to say, that I don't know how to bring out. Not about trust, but about standing alone and weathering trouble; that sometimes help or companionship comes from unexpected places. It's not something you'd even appreciate, if you hadn't been troubled and alone. You wouldn't have valued it--you weren't capable of valuing it--until things went very, very wrong for you.

This is likely too complex an idea for this story. What I think I'm getting at is hardship developing one's character--but not in a "When I was your age I used to walk to school in a snowstorm" way. I'm thinking more about broadening your empathy and understanding and appreciation of other people. I don't know that I can get this across in a book, because I'm not sure anybody can actually understand it unless they've been up against some kind of wall themselves. Also, this is not a very reflective story and there's not much room for digressions.

But then, that's a great challenge, trying to cram all that into a book with swordfights and kidnappings.

Anyway, I don't know if I can proceed unless I have at least a tiny glimmer of how any of this fits together. Will have to pull up the ms and think about it. Right now. Hope I don't just stare blankly at the screen for hours.

P.S. Now that I think about it, "Don't trust anybody but yourself" is the way Character 2 thinks. And look what happens to him.

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