Okay, so I'm at the start of plotting a new series of stories to pitch at the ACFW Conference, and it occurs to me, after practically bathing in craft books, that I've created a quandry for myself.
I think I might have been educated beyond my intelligence!
Where do I start? Characters? Plot? Setting? How do I go deeper, put in more layers, symbols, arcs, subplots, subtexts, tension, moral premises, and so forth? Names? GMC? Backstory? I'm trying to create a bigger story, writing a better novel than any I've turned out before.
I'm swimming in options. It's time to start choosing from the options and narrowing the focus of the story. I just finished reading The Moral Premise by Dr. Stanley Williams. Man, I felt like a mental midget when I finished that book. I think I understand what he's saying, and I'm anxious to apply it, but the first half of the book, where he was discussing the moral premises of everything from Socrates to Seinfeld (Seriously!) I was barely keeping my nose above water.
So, I've got this US Cavalry officer, and this spinster nurse, and we'll see what happens when I give the story a moral premise.
Behaving with dishonor brings guilt, regret, and loss, but behaving with honor brings inner peace, contentment, and a sense of self-worth.
This is what I've come up with so far, after some soul searching and hashing over of philosophy with my DH. It might need some fine-tuning, but at least it's a start.
Where do you start with a new story? And have you ever read a new craft book and felt way out of your depth???
I'm going to go read GMC again. THAT one I get!
Photo from Flickr by Rennett Stowe