Writing and Direction

What does it take to make a good character driven story? There are a lot of answers. Strong characters, real interactions, a narrative grounding in its own reality. The list goes on.

How are we focusing that in The Ridiculous Tales of Sena in the Tower? Well, first and foremost, we’re trying to build strong characters. Sena, for example, is an intelligent young woman with a sarcastic streak but a good sense of right and wrong.

That brings up something of a puzzle to the writing end of things. To begin, we have the story that we want to tell. But in order to tell it, we have to create these characters. Then we have to figure out how the characters would interact. Then we have to build from that the interactions that take the story where we want it to.

This is a bit of a problem when there appears to be two different views on characters. The first view is that the characters are fictional, so they can behave in any manner we want. And that’s true, to an extent. But forcing the characters to behave in a certain way detracts from their appeal as characters. Instead of the characters living through the story, the story is told with dolls that just do whatever the story needs.

The second view is that you just let the characters take the story where they will. Again, this is true, but there is an inherent problem with it. If the story that we’re trying to tell is the epic good versus evil fight, but the characters are all cowardly and self serving, then we can’t tell the story that we want to tell. We can only tell the story of these cowards.

In essence, writing becomes a jigsaw puzzle when you’re trying to walk down these two lines. In order for event A to happen, interaction A between characters A and B need to happen. But without modified circumstance, characters A and B will only have interaction B.

It certainly makes writing far more fun than usual, but it does lead to problems with direction. How do the modified circumstances come about for interaction A to happen. Does event A need interaction A between characters A and B? What about interaction B between characters A and C? Wouldn’t that set up event A to happen as well?

Now, we have about fifty principal characters in planning at moment. That’s just characters that will affect the primary story string. Not that a single one of those characters will by necessity be in every iteration of the story, but we have to plan for contingencies.

Added to this is the idea that we have multiple outcomes as a part of the story. Maybe a Hero rescues Sena. Maybe Sena gets herself out of the tower. Maybe the dragon guarding her geos on a rampage. That all effects the number of puzzle pieces that we need to factor in.

Life is fun with writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: