Monday, February 19, 2007

Get My Drift

One of the factors I really want to deal with in a ghost story is subtlety. For that I will require a novel length work and an editor who can stay with the requirements to pull it off. The last thing you want to do is having your subtlety removed because the editor looked upon pieces of it as mistakes in your narrative. I’m talking about the sorts of things—and this may be really giving secrets away—like an object being described as left in a certain position ending up in a different positions, things appearing where they shouldn’t be, things suddenly missing. These sorts of things might also include other kinds of inconsistencies.

Inconsistencies, misdirection, and lies can be a part of any story really. They’re not tied to ghost stories (obviously with poltergeist activity) or even to horror. As a secondary factor, this kind of thing has to be done carefully. First, it’s a part of the consideration that your readership may not be up to understanding what you are doing. This is an issue that I wish were pure fallacy, but there is an actual need to consider it. Secondly, not only does this affect your deciding on which market your work is going to appeal to, but also if parts of that audience are still going to be lost if you don’t explain it well enough, especially at the risk of moving it away from subtle.

God is in the details they say, or the Devil, depending upon whether the details are playing nice for you or not. One of the lessons I decided I wanted to follow, where I could, is to pile on the situations. Our lives are all about a million and one things going on at once. Why should a story with the room be any different? This is not to say that you have to be all over the place or write the dreaded non-related/tangential material. This is not the entirety of the idea, either. The other part of it is to pile on the circumstances.

What that means is to remember that more than one factor influences any given decisions and most matters are never black and white. So in keeping with this important bit of reality there should always be several reasons behind just about everything. This is especially important with the most important decisions that will be the driving forces of your characters and plots. If you can don’t be simple, because simple is dull, and simple isn’t particularly realistic. It’s all a matter that you have to shake things up to make them stronger.

Mood: shiny.
Music: Know the Difference by Stratovarius and On My Way Up by Brian May.

Stratovarius: Elements Part 2
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Brian May: Another World

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