An Aspiring Writer's Blog Site

Sphinx- Part 2

The sphinx idea has really piqued my interest and for the last few days I have been mulling it over some more. It nice to have 30-45 minute drives for work to think these types of things through (its about the only thing I can say good about those drives).

My biggest concern with the idea was what I call the superman problem—if the title character is a sphinx, can’t she kick most anything’s ass? What challenges would she have? It’s important that she not be all powerful and have some glaring weaknesses that can be exploited by an antagonist. Also, I don’t want a kick ass chick or someone who just throws magic all over the place.

Then there was the problem of POV. I wanted the sphinx to be the pov character. But how does a reader relate to this all powerful creature? I had wanted her to be supernatural—not of the regular mortal world. I think it would be hard to write from that pov. Also, I was imagining her to come from a different place and learning about people. How does one describe things from the pov of a creature that is not familiar with people? Things we take for granted like language, technology, clothing and everything would be foreign to such a creature. I’d have to describe it from the POV of the sphinx and that would would be a pain in the butt to write, I’d think, and a pain in the butt for a reader to read.

Then I thought–what if the sphinx was a creature that took over the body of a mortal and endowed her with its powers? That could solve this issue if the host was still aware of her own world. It would also give me the devise to explain the powers of the sphinx from a human perspective. Also, it could open up all kinds of conflicts. How does the creature change its mortal host and how does the host adapt to those changes? How does those changes effect the people around the host—the people the host has known and perhaps has goals and important relationships with? What if there were people who wanted to take advantage of her powers? I think these are some ideas I can run with.

Ok, so I have a premise for my story. So, now what? I run with it.

Every author has a different way of writing their stories. I actually hit on something that worked very well for me with Bronze Raiders that seems to fit my creative style. I write in bursts. What this means is that from here on out I’m going to get ideas for the story—could be just one line of dialogue that I think is cool, or a couple of sentences that describes something that I see in the story—a location or something that people are doing, or perhaps a character. Sometimes its a full blown conversation. So, I put these little bursts in separate docs.

Meanwhile, I research and start creating a world. I draw maps, I make character sketches,. For inspiration, I mainly look at non-fiction books—history books and biographies. I also watch documentaries. I also read similar type novels and movies and video games. I surf the internet and look at images of characters and settings that would fit well in my world. All the while, this will feed my imagination and keep giving me little bursts.

Soon enough, Ihave accumalated enough of these bursts where I start seeing the skeleton of a story. From there, I’ll make an outline (though I remind myself that I can change it anytime I wish). I then group those bursts into scenes based upon the outline. I begin focusing on parts of the outline that I haven’t explored yet—I get more bursts and write those down. I change my outline as needed and keep writing bursts. Soon, I have a rough draft—its full of scenes that may or may not go. It has characters that may not be necessary, it has scenes that do not have any transitions between them—that’s fine. I now have something to work with. I begin to take the rough draft and streamlining it (removing scenes, adding scenes, revising scenes etc.) until I have a first draft that is readable from start to finish. I then let people look at it. Based on those comments, I rewrite. After that I make a second draft and send it out. After that . . . . I don’t know. I’ll let you know when the second draft of Bronze Raiders is done being read.

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