Sunday, 12 July 2009

Filtering It Out

No, this is not a blog about keeping tropical fish.

Although the two tanks we have do provide more distraction at times (Hmm, write or clean the algae off the tank?)

I'm going over my previous draft, writing out the scene descriptions line by line with the intention of investigating what actually worked and seeing if it can be used in the new draft. But I'm questioning myself over whether this is really just another form of procrastinating or not. I'm just emerging from a rather crap period of avoiding writing and want to make sure I'm taking things in hand and not just kidding myself.

There's so much historical stuff I felt compelled to put in there as I have a real chip on my shoulder about knee-jerk Scottish Nationalist reactions to the Glencoe Massacre and feel I should try and set the story straight - I nearly got into a fight with a friend when I explained the background to the story, so ill-informed are some people. But I feel I have to strike a balance between historical accuracy and telling a cracking adventure romance.

On reflection (about a second's worth as it's bleedin' obvious), what really counts is the actual story of the main character, not splitting the point of view between the players central to the massacre itself - whom should the audience root for? The villain? The misguided Highland Chieftain? No, they should root for the bloody hero, of course! There does seem to be a slightly Hitchcockian element coming through in the new outline for the next draft (I've altered the first half of the story pretty radically, calling for a new outline or I'll trip myself up.) The thing that is emerging now and which is beginning to excite me is what I tell the audience and what I tell the main character, upping the suspense. Hopefully.

It all boils down to knowing who and what your focus is. It's too easy to get bogged down in historical details and drift from the main story, which is what an audience wants to see. Not a history lesson.

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