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

    • 86,337 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

    • A Warm Welcome to Caryl McAdoo
      It's a pleasure to welcome Caryl to our blog today! She lives an interesting life, and it's no wonder this book is historical! Tell us, Carol . . .Is there a story behind HEARTS STOLEN? The stories (plural) behind HEARTS STOLEN came from the fascinating research of the Republic of Texas’ early days. The captivating history of the Texas Rangers, whi […]
    • Heart Stolen by Caryl McAdoo
      Back Cover Blurb:Unbeknownst to loved ones, a headstrong young wife is snatched off the prairie by two Comanche braves, carried north of the Red River, and traded to their war chief for ponies. After five years, a small detail of Texas Rangers rides into camp, and she determines that day will bring freedom or death. She’ll remain captive no more.Sassy Nighte […]
    • Creighton's Hideaway by LoRee Peery
      Needing to finish her thesis in order to keep her job working with youth in a residential treatment center, Shana Arnold sequesters herself on Creighton Rice’s Nebraska ranch. She expects the secluded hideaway to provide a peaceful environment. What she doesn't expect is to become the victim of identity theft and a crazed home invader.Creighton Rice has […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • Birthday Bash Giveaway, Day 4!
      ...var cpo = []; cpo["_object"] ="cp_widget_8777b1b5-38a5-4007-b2e6-6d85a0415b93"; cpo["_fid"] = "AQDAx8rmo4Jx"; var _cpmp = _cpmp || []; _cpmp.push(cpo); (function() { var cp = document.createElement("script"); cp.type = "text/javascript"; cp.async = true; cp.src = "//www.cincopa.com/media-pla […]
    • Birthday Bash Giveaway, Day 3!
      ...var cpo = []; cpo["_object"] ="cp_widget_8777b1b5-38a5-4007-b2e6-6d85a0415b93"; cpo["_fid"] = "AQDAx8rmo4Jx"; var _cpmp = _cpmp || []; _cpmp.push(cpo); (function() { var cp = document.createElement("script"); cp.type = "text/javascript"; cp.async = true; cp.src = "//www.cincopa.com/media-pla […]
    • Birthday Bash Giveaway, Day 2!
      ...var cpo = []; cpo["_object"] ="cp_widget_8777b1b5-38a5-4007-b2e6-6d85a0415b93"; cpo["_fid"] = "AQDAx8rmo4Jx"; var _cpmp = _cpmp || []; _cpmp.push(cpo); (function() { var cp = document.createElement("script"); cp.type = "text/javascript"; cp.async = true; cp.src = "//www.cincopa.com/media-pla […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Something Special This Way Comes
      Summer is over. Time to get back to writing and creating. Now is the time for me to develop new and exciting (hopefully) aspects to my live as an author. So... the new things I am adding are Sophie's Special Emails and Christian Author Interviews Podcast. Sophie's Special Emails - This will be a newsletter that goes out about once every two weeks. […]
    • A Lifetime of Sewing
      I learned to sew at the age of eight. We went on a three week vacation to Connecticut to visit family. Along the way we traveled to different sites. I remember Niagara Falls and Sault Ste. Marie as well as my aunt, uncle, and cousins but that's about it. We traveled in a green station wagon. Mom, Dad, me, my sister, Cheryl, and brother Dave. She was 10 […]
    • So I'm Back And Writing
      It is now September. One more day of hot weather. I drained the pool today. There are tomatoes needing canning. I'm starting blogging again today. I took two months off to enjoy the summer and spend more time with my granddaughter. I did just that. Now it's time to regularly post my ever inspiring thoughts and ... whatever. Okay, so my not so inspi […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Book Review: Trevelyan by Naomi Musch
      TrevelyanNaomi Musch      Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. (May 21, 2014)     ASIN: B00KI26HKW4.99, 10.95 printBuy on AmazonFrom the publisher: Five men and two Elven princes have embarked upon a quest: to save a sister from the wasteland of the Great Winter where she is held in the clutches of a Monster Lord who all believe brought desecration and […]
    • Lisa Lickel's Last Detail Book Giveaway September 11-13
      Join me for my birthday celebration and enter to win a print version of The Last Detail. .goodreadsGiveawayWidget { color: #555; font-family: georgia, serif; font-weight: normal; text-align: left; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; background: white; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget img { padding: 0 !important; margin: 0 !important; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget a […]
    • Meet My Character, Grace Runyon
      Meet My Character Sweet romance author Gail Pallotta has some thoughtful questions about my character, Grace Runyon, who is the heroine in Healing Grace, a paranormal inspirational romance. Before I tell you about Grace, let's talk a little about Gail, and her great teen mystery, Stopped Cold. About Gail:Award-winning author Gail Pallotta is a wife, Mom […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • Book Release and Giveaway: Hush in the Storm by Julie Cosgrove
      Author Julie Cosgrove is giving away two electronic copies of her new book Hush in the Storm. To quality, leave a comment at the end of this blog stating why you would like to win this book. Below is Julie's author bio and a book blurb. Thanks Julie for sharing you book with us. The book drawing will be on 9/25/14.Book Blurb:  Jen, a young widow flounde […]
    • Book Review: Claire’s Not So Gothic Romance by Bonnie Blythe
      Claire is a shy, plain girl who works at a florist, lives with her mom and loves Jane Eyre. When she has a minor accident while delivering flowers she ends up in the hospital and meets up with Sam. The attractive male is captivated by her. For Claire it’s too good to be true. Sam is a nice guy who admits he has a past but has cleaned up his act. When that pa […]
    • Book Review: The Ransom by MaryLu Tyndall
      The Ransom centers on Juliana Dutton who is trying desperately to keep her household from the brink of ruin. She runs her father’s shipping business in Jamaica in 1692 while he is gravely ill, keeping his condition  a secret so as not to run the risk of losing all his clients. But she cannot shake off her troubles including a brother who is a wastrel and a p […]
  • 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 1,248 other followers

%d bloggers like this: