This month’s topic is about unique situations occurring in the writing process. For me, this might include unique things that happen within the actual writing of a story.
Thinking through my initial ideas is where I usually come up with situations for my stories. A few times during the writing process I have stalled out and had to rethink a story's events to find a new avenue, but I'm a plotter, so most ideas come int the prewriting process. Most often my unique situations involve either the setting or the characters. This, I am sure, is part of the process of writing in the science fiction and fantasy genre, which led me to use it in other genres, too.
For instance, when I thought up Home World Aginfeld, it was the setting that formed a unique situation. I didn’t initially come up with the plot or idea behind it until I first wondered how foreign planets could be inhabited. The action in this story takes place on a distant planet where the people have lived in huge habitats for a thousand years because the first settlers need places to live as they began the process of bio-forming the planet. Yet after all that time indoors, the population became leery of leaving their secure habitats. Once started, another unique situation occurred. The story starts out on a misogynistic world where a woman commits a burglary. The main female character doesn't start the story but was misidentified as the culprit which led to her capture and a death sentence in the now feudal type society of Aginfeld. The real burglar turned out to be her sister.
Most of my research for bio-forming at that time showed only possibilities. With the current interest in inhabiting Mars, more scientific information is now available, but it is still only probabilities, no promises.
In Crewkin it was the characters. I imagined companies raising groups of genetically altered children isolated together to form crews for spaceships spending years in space. The for-profit companies no longer saw these crews as people, but merely tools. The story revolves around one ‘Crewkin’ member who didn’t want to follow the company dictates and sets out to find a new life.
The focus in the Black Angel Series was also focused on a character. The main character survives a massive overdose of a drug known to destroy minds. Her mind divided into six different personalities. Much later in the writing process, I discovered a symbiotic organism had invaded the character to evoke this change.
In the fantasy Aegis Series, it is also the characters who are unique. This is a world where the ‘magic’ certain characters perform is not hocus-pocus trickery but mental abilities.
Stories set in historical or contemporary realities can also have unique changes. These often happen during the writing process where readers expect difficulties. While creating these, unique ideas can form that change the planned plotline. This happened to my writing quite often in Constantine’s Legacy. I’ve discovered it is part of the enjoyment and diversion in writing.
Dr. Bob Rich