Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 85,697 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Where Eagles Soar by Bonnie Leon
      In 1947 Lily Sanders moved with her family to a homestead at the edge of an Athabaskan village in the Alaskan Territory. It was an ideal location for her father, a mountain man and hunting guide. It also provided a place where the world could not see his brutality.Seeking her father’s love and approval, Lily traipses the mountain trails at his side, learning […]
    • Winners at the Barn Door Book Loft
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft.And before we announce our three winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:JM Downey who offered her Historical Romance  A Time To Overcome. Holly Michael who offered her Inspirational Fiction  Crooked Lines. And Susan Anne Mason who offered her Contemporary Romance  Bet […]
    • Interview with Michigan Author Kathleen Rouser
      Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft Kathleen!Is there a story behind the book, Brave New Century?Lisa Lickel sent out an email to ACFW Midwest, and I believe some other loops, looking for authors who wanted to write romances set in urban areas around the year 1900, to put together an anthology. Since I had looked into Detroit’s history around that time for an […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • "A Place in His Heart," a New World Romance!
      Today's featured novel,A PLACE IN HIS HEART is a historical romance authored by Rebecca DeMarino. It's her debut novel and book one of The Southold Chronicles."I hope my readers find pure entertainment! I hope they enjoy the love story, with all of the ups and downs of Mary and Barnabas. I hope they get lost in a time period that was so far di […]
    • June's Hot New Releases Clash of the Titles Champion
      Thank you, voters and encouragers, for a great Clash of the Titles, June 2014 Release Battle.We'll begin our champion announcement with the kindness of the voters....Comments of Encouragement for this Month’s CLASH Authors:They are all stunning... I love though how Tamara writes in the medieval time... Hard to find clean fiction in that time period :)He […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Get on Board and Stay on Board by Pear Nsiah-Kumi
      My friend Pearl Nsiah-Kumi, who is a multi-published Christian Author, has put together an inspiring book for us, Get On Board and Stay On Board. It is a collection of poems, short articles and short Bible studies based on scripture, to encourage non-Christians to place their faith in Jesus, and also to support Christians to have a closer relationship with G […]
    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey
      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Review: Healing Grace by Lisa Lickel
      When Grace Runyan experiences the loss of her husband, she moves to escape her pain and her past. She rents a home in a small Michigan town next door to a seriously  ill man with a young son. Grace’s personal tragedy and hurts run deep. The  more we get to know her, the more secrets we learn about her. As she begins to care for the little boy, and finds hers […]
    • Book Giveaway: Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship
      Here's your chance to win a print or electronic copy of my book, Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained RelationshipHere's a bit more about the book.Mothers and daughters. In perhaps no other relationship are our hopes so high, and the dysfunction so disappointing. You feel locked into a hurtful relationship that you must deal with, and it' […]
    • Book Review: The Heart of Thornton Creek by Bonnie Leon
      I expected yet another romance lacking originality but Leon took this Christian historical  in another direction. When independent-minded Rebecca Williams is left without any prospects or means to support herself after her father dies, she has few prospects. Despite the fact that she doesn’t love him, she agrees to marry a young Australian, Daniel Thornton.T […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

It’s Too Complicated!

Posted by Luther D. Powell on August 9, 2012

After a creative summer filled with commission work, brainstorming, reading, brainstorming, writing AND brainstorming, I have come to a uniquely unpleasant conclusion:

My story is way too complicated.

Not only do I feel that the plot of this book I’m writing needs some serious dumbing-down, but I’ve managed to cycle almost all the way back to where I began rewriting the whole thing two or three years ago! Stuff that I thought was cut out for good crawled back out of its grave and screamed in my face, “I’m good story material! USE ME!”

See, it was two years ago or so that depression reared its ugly head in my life, and basically told me that nothing I wrote was realistic enough. The pain I felt then didn’t reflect off any of my characters; none of them seemed human to me (I mean…few of them ARE human, but you know what I mean). After reading over my “first book,” I thought, none of this works. So I shelved it and started thinking up completely different stories. Now THOSE are shelved temporarily and I’m back to the first story. I’ve punished this keyboard all summer trying to get it where I want it. It has hit me now that I might have accidentally brought back everything that pushed me to rewrite it in the first place. That being, way too much stuff.

I, for one, love books and movies that make me think. Of course, you need good characters as well, but there’s something about how a plot leaves you immediately thinking, “I’ll definitely have to watch/read that again,” that goes to show that a writer knows what he/she is doing. Some examples of movies I enjoy that also make me think: Inception (first one that comes to mind), The Prestige, Donnie Darko (not the best movie ever, but it’s got style), Source Code, and Jacob’s Ladder. Call me crazy, but I can really get into stories that flip my brains inside out. The stories that you have to recover from, that’s powerful. It takes skill for a story to do that. I feel it’s safe to say, as a writer, I don’t want to write single-read books. I want my readers to feel compelled to pick my book up again to catch all the little details they missed the first time around.

Here’s my problem. It is obvious to me that not everyone likes to have their brains flipped inside out. In other words, some of my friends didn’t like Inception, because it was “too complicated.” One of my favorite TV shows, Community, is being rumored to get cancelled soon because viewers have complained that it’s “too complicated.” Community is a comedy, and I personally think it’s revolutionary to have comedy that makes people think, but I understand why some don’t enjoy it. I understand because I’m starting to see my own story as “too complicated!” I thought simplifying it would make it easier to write, but that made it kind of boring for me. Now I’m back at my original problem: it doesn’t feel realistic enough, but not because my characters don’t seem human enough. There’s just too much happening! Too may coincidences, and not enough quiet time. Keep in mind, I’m writing horror. I want to deprive my readers of sleep, but not because they’re confused; I wanna creep people out! …You know, for Jesus.

Part of me considers splitting the one book (one out of an already-series of books) into other books. Maybe a trilogy of its own? Ted Dekker is a big inspiration to me in that area of writing, because he hasn’t just written a series of books. :Spoiler alert!: Ted Dekker has managed to write separate trilogies, completely different storylines, and connect them so that readers will want all of it anyway! I’ve never seen anybody else do that, so naturally, new as the method seems, I kind of want to try it. But I don’t want to write three books right now! I want to write one! AUGH!

How does one go about cancelling out complicated stuff? I enjoy coming up with a few twists here and there, but once you’ve written yourself into the singularity of a black hole of swirling plot bridges and all-too-convenient coincidences, I think there’s an issue. What kinds of character development can be left out? Do so-and-so and whatshername really have to meet up in order to keep the story rolling? Do any of you writers out there ever have this problem?

I really need to work on endings for these blogs. That’s all for now, folks! Same time next week, I’ll be back in Bowling Green awaiting the start of a new school year. Weird. God bless, readers!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

About these ads

2 Responses to “It’s Too Complicated!”

  1. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav) said

    It sounds like you’re a plot-driven novelist rather than a character-driven novelist. The editor over at Marcher Lord Press, Jeff Gerke, is the former, and he’s written some great stuff for similar authors who want to develop characters, but he also strives to balance the act for character-driven novelists. No matter how complicated the story – and up to a point, I like complicated stories, being character-driven myself – it can be developed along the lines of inner and outer conflicts for your protagonist(s). I highly recommend his material for helping keep a plot (and its creator) sane while seeking order in the midst of complexity.

    Maybe some basic questions about your chief protagonist are in order, such as, what does he or she have to overcome inwardly or outwardly? You know, like the questions asked (on BABYLON 5) by the Vorlons and the Shadows respectively: “Who are you?” “What do you want?” (And finally by their teacher, “Where are you going?”)

    Oh, and don’t be too discouraged. It took me forty years to work out the logical framework of my fictional universe to where I could live with it. Along the way I made countless revisions, rejections, total destructions, and zombie-like resurrections of ideas in my mind. But once I understood how my mind worked, and how my fictional universe reflected that working, things finally fell into place. And Jeff Gerke’s material had its own very great value for me there.

  2. Joni Deever said

    Well written Elaine. Thank you for standing up for God’s word and the truth.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,249 other followers

%d bloggers like this: