The Convoluted Makings of a Journey.


I know what it’s like – you do, too, if you’re a writer – you have an idea, a clear storyline, a character you really like and an itch to get it all beautifully presented.

Only the path of the tale is pretty straight and the ending is almost a foregone conclusion. You don’t want your readers to guess it, of course you don’t, and anyway there has to be a problem, a challenge for that character to meet and overcome. That puts a couple of kinks into the path, making it a more interesting stroll, only really you’d like some fascinating things to happen because, actually, what you really want is for this to be a journey.

So you pop in some more problems and a few twisty solutions, only some of them a tricky to pull off and you’ve got to work at getting them nailed down so they work without some inconvenient logic getting in the way and spoiling it, so maybe a few somersaults are needed, but that’s okay, it’s worth it.

Then you bring in someone new to deal with some of this extra stuff, only their very presence is causing more problems, problems you hadn’t realized you would encounter. It’s still worth it, right? Of course it is. You push on and suddenly space is tight and so is time and these problems are becoming seemingly insurmountable.

Soon you’re just looking at problems all around you which, by the way, probably means you’ve painted yourself into a corner. You know you have to work through this, and – surprise, surprise, your characters are looking at much the same set of issues.

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