Friday, August 12, 2011

“The Devil maybe in the Details, but the Angels are in the Spaces In Between.”

That might not mean anything to you, but it came to me finishing the latest draft of my contemporary fantasy novel.

When I first conceived this story I was in the midst of writing another so quickly dashed off a few pages and set it aside. Those pages became the outline from which I worked.

What I had at the start was the magical McGuffin, which our heroes and villain quested for, and the name of my main characters. So I put myself upon that same quest to see where they lead me.

Well for one reason or another, several of those names changed between the first and second draft of the novel. Some were too close in sound (try not to have characters names that start with the same letter). Soon other characters showed up they made themselves important and needed names as well.

However, the name of my main character never changed, and would become a very important key part of the story. No matter how unintentional when I started.

As I wrote further into the novel I discovered that her father had changed his family name (for reasons you’ll find out when you buy the book when its released). Near the end of the book my lead character has the opportunity to ask why. I knew nothing about this before I wrote it. Yet the very name I chose answered the question itself. Not only did it give me the explanation of why he had changed the name, but it also told me about a childhood trauma which I hadn’t planned and yet was now the story’s singularity which set in motion all the events which took us through the novel.

It was a little thing, and unplanned, but was an amazing thing to suddenly find I had laid the groundwork for key elements of my story without even knowing it.

The devil as they say is in the details, and if you focus too hard on them you lose sight of the whole. The vastness of world you create for your story doesn’t hold together on the details, but on the unplanned spaces in between them. Don’t listen to hard, but as you type away you just might hear angels wings providing you the creative answers you didn’t know you needed along your quest to compete the story.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

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