I was swapping email with Stephen yesterday and he asked a question about a plot point in Depress Button. First, I was pleased that he had read it. The beginning* is on my blog, but I don't expect anyone to be reading that.
Then I started explaining what else was going to be worked into the story. I couldn't remember what had been in the notes section, and therefor repeated myself.
When he said that he'd read that there would be spiders, and had shivered at the idea, I had to go on and list other things. I was hoping to add things that hadn't been in the notes. I added and added and ended up extending the plot.
This was a wonderful thing, and I'm still feeling a bit lighter for it. The first scene had come easily, after putting two basic ideas together and collecting a few details around it. One of the ideas could work as an ending, if filled out properly. The second scene had taken a little work and had petered out at the end.
Then I let someone read it. She liked it, but in saying why made it clear that she saw the main character differently than I did.
After that I had a hard time thinking of what should come next. I did research on spiders, which was interesting and which may yet give me a direction. It's already given me facts for purposes of decoration (shades of C. Northcote Parkinson). In fact, I've gone back to the second scene and added a pervasive scent of dog food and bananas.
I also mulled over the three characters in the story and the ways that they might interfere with each other, determined to get some actual conflict into a story for once. I have trouble introducing conflict. Someone once told me that what I wrote weren't stories, they were vignettes.
But, somehow, showboating for Stephen let things flow again. I was listing teasers and I kept adding one after another, until I had something close to a complete plot. From here, it's dialog and details. I still have to (or want to - it may not be truly necessary to the story) work out how the magic system works. But I teasered my way to a tease about the conclusion.
The conclusion tease is: Two Words. The two words are: spam filter.
* not that anything besides the beginning exists. Well, there are a few notes and comments, but mostly there is only a beginning. This is not unusual for me. The blog is called A Thousand Beginnings, and I am collecting all of the writings that I never finished in one place.
Not that I have actually collected and entered every piece of writing that I've ever started. I've made a start, though. Sometimes I feel good to have started and sometimes I feel guilty that I haven't completed it. That's why that blog is listed on my blog called The Guilt List.**
** I may have written about both of the blogs already. As I said, I'm writing tonight with no access to what I've written here before. It feels like working without a net because I have a mind like a steel sieve. There's no way to know if I'm repeating myself.
Not that repetition is a bad thing