I’ve always sorta known that I’m a discovery writer. You know, the kind of writer who starts off with a premise, a handful of characters, a beginning scene and then has to actually write the darn story to figure out the rest?
Today I really KNOW that I’m that sort of writer. And it blows my mind.
One aspect of Quartz had been giving me conniptions. Even at this late date, even after lots of brainstorming and scribbling copious notes, I didn’t have a handle on it. I have this non-POV wicked-cool character (that would be Isabella) with special abilities who fights against these wicked-wicked baddies, who also have also special abilities. My POV character stumbles into one of these battles and that scene never worked for me because I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly Isabella *does* in her fights with the baddies. Yeah, I knew she has *these* super powers, and they have *those* super powers, and she has these cool weapons, and they have… well, they don’t need cool weapons because they’re almost impossible to deal with on their own anyway, without giving them extra help, thankyouverymuch! But how all these things interacted and played out–well that part was still murky.
And watching this battle through Rafe’s eyes was not making things clearer (considering he doesn’t have much of a clue of what’s going on and his presence changes the dynamics).
So, today I wrote an extra-canonical fight scene between Isabella and one of these Baddies. Just her (and her cool weapons) and It. No Rafe, no story pressure. So, tell me, Isabella, what does a normal battle with these Baddies look like? From your first person POV? What exactly is it doing, and what exactly are you doing?
And the revelations started pouring in.
Now I know the limitations of the special abilities and the weapons. Now I know why Isabella and the Baddie are evenly-matched. Now I know the various fronts on which the Baddie attacks and how Isabella defends. Now I know why she uses her weapons in a particular way, and why she doesn’t [insert spoilers].
This has big implications for the sequel (that would be Flare *grin*). And in clarifying what happens in that one battle Rafe gate-crashes. I’m so excited, I could… bounce.
AND, not only all that, I’ve figured out one way my storytelling process works. I have one more tool to add to my toolbox.
Win-win-win all around.