April ended yesterday, and with it, Camp NaNoWriMo. I had high aspirations for Camp, but it turns out it wasn’t meant to be. For a while, I had blamed the fact that I didn’t want to get up in the mornings. Then I slowly came to realize that it was not so much that I was shirking my writing (though I was), but that my “plan” had major flaws and though I could pants my way through it, I couldn’t answer the big plot questions of “how?” and “why?”. These questions nagged at me and instead of turning to my keyboard with fervor to get down all the ideas racing across my brain, I instead cringed, knowing that someday, I’d have to face that I didn’t really think about everything that was going on.

I still pants-write. But my brain demanded there be logic behind choices the characters made and the mechanics of the world. Why would LaTonya help Derhan? How had the istos been kept under control before now? How was I going to restore my character’s power? These and others nagged at me. I wrote and deleted the beginning scenes four times before finally sitting down and doing some serious brainstorming with my sister-in-law. Good news: I finally have some of the details figured out. Bad news: I’ve deleted probably about 25K and did not make anywhere near my Camp goal.

But as I said, I did get details figured out. A major impact to the plot and tone happened to be LaTonya. I decide to make her a POV character. She is first introduced in Thanmir War as a minor appearance, known as the Clan Crosser. She was intended to have a larger role in Isto, but it wasn’t until these past couple of weekends did I bump up her status to POV and then actually belonging to an Archetype.

Referring to the 45 Master Characters book I own, I labeled her as the Amazon. My other characters include the Woman’s Man (Derek), the King (MaTisha–Yes, I know, it’s a male archetype), the Father’s Daughter (Kaio–Yes, I know, it’s a female archetype), and the Businessman (Cameron). It helped me narrow in on LaTonya’s personality, goals, and reasons driving her.

And unfortunately, it destroyed her life.

I raised her stakes, gave her purpose, and afterwards, updated my Isto Playlist. Her outlook went from noble, carefree drifter who helps out just because to bitter avenger who will go to extremes to protect what little she has left. She is now emotionally invested and very ready to kick some a– er, butt.

I also figured out more of my world mechanics, how a particular villain plays into the plot, and that the mighty Ko doesn’t know everything. MWAHAHAHA! I owe a big thank you to my sis-in-law for being there to help work through all the issues and clarify some of my reasoning.

I’m back to writing again!

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

2 thoughts on “Failure

  1. Wow! I love the new site. Pretty… 🙂

    Don’t you just love it when you work a plot problem out and things start flowing again! (That happened to me last week…It’s why I’m behind on critting. :P)

    • Thank you! The site is still under construction though.

      What I love the most is stumbling upon those “Ah-ha! So that’s why that happened” moments. Like when you decide to do something with the plot, and it suddenly smooths out a whole lot of other issues.

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