Finding Meaning When There Isn’t Any

This drives my husband crazy.

I’ll watch a movie to death just to figure out all the cues and clues that would’ve led me to understand why the character acted thusly if I’d only paid attention the first time.

“Dear, I think you’re reading too much into it,” my husband says.

And he’s probably right, but I think that’s how so many companies and authors get into trouble, because they don’t think the full way through concept X.

Like Lilo and Stitch. The little girl Lilo adopts what she thinks is a dog from her local shelter, but who is, in fact, the alien Stitch. At the end of the movie, she presents her certificate of ownership for Stitch to the Grand Council rep in order to keep Stitch from being imprisoned. “If you take him, you’re stealing,” Lilo says.

I’m certain Disney scriptwriters thought of it as a cute ploy for the child to save the day, and it does work, but if you pause and think the whole way through it …

the only way that works is if slavery is a legally recognized and accepted part of galactic alien society.

I’m not pointing this out to start some protest campaign against Disney or destroy the movie for people or whatever, I’m throwing it out there because I’ve run across so many books and movies and other media in which the solution (or even the problem), has not been clearly thought the whole way through.  Which may be one of the reasons why it takes me so long to write a damn book.

(On the other hand, Disney may have realized the slavery suggestion and just threw up their hands saying, “You know what?  People are going to get pissed about something in this movie anyway, because we have yet to push out a movie in the last 20 years that has not been protested to death in some fashion or other.”)

I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a Lilo and Stitch moment, realizing “That scene I wrote doesn’t make any damn sense, because of XXX.”

In my fantasy series this necessitated an entirely new chapter in book 2 in order to properly introduce my hero. Yes, I’d introduced him just fine the first go around, and no one said ‘boo’ when they read that draft, but then I realized (fortunately just before starting draft 2): His intro doesn’t work.

He’s been gone from his family for twelve years. During that time he became a thief. Okay, yes, they might take him back when he returns, hoping that he’s sincere in his desire to change as he claims, but they’re not going to trust him to escort my heroine around when he’s only been back a month – the girl is loaded. Obscenely rich.

Every parent would love to believe that their child will change for the better, and they might even start off with giving the prodigal son somewhat important duties to prove his word, but not that. Especially not in the culture I built.

This is driving me nuts with my steampunk series, too. I know where I want it to go. I know roughly how I want it to get there. But my bad guys are simply not cooperating with me.

“Katty, I don’t think you really understand my character.”

What are you talking about? I created you. I know your favorite color.

“I know that, and I’m grateful for that, but I’ve grown since you first created that character sheet. I don’t like blue anymore. I prefer olive, and if you think about it, you’ll understand why.”

Oooookaaaaaaayyyyyy … so we’ll start work tomorrow while I sort out ‘olive’ in your framework.

“That sounds great, Katty.”

Two days ago, my good guys started in as well.

As I said, I’m having problems getting through this last third of Draft 3 of the 2nd fantasy book. I thought – “Maybe a break. Maybe my brain is just spinning off on something else and I need to get it out.”

So I let my fingers wander and before I know it, I’ve got a 100+ page rough draft prequel for the steampunk series. With minor characters in the starring roles.

And as nice as that is, and as inspiring as it is to sit down and tinker with “How did Dr. Moore get married to her?”, it is frustrating as hell. Because now I have NPC’s knocking on my door, telling me I need to completely re-address their brief moments in the steampunk series, because now that I’ve got their prehistory roughly sorted out, they’re NOT THE SAME PERSON ANYMORE.

Everyone says that in order to publish book x, YOU HAVE TO STOP FUCKING WITH IT.

How do you know when to do that?

About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
This entry was posted in Random, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Finding Meaning When There Isn’t Any

  1. Doree Weller says:

    Oh my goodness… you’re like the narrator for my life. Do you sneak into my house at night and observe my dreams? I drive myself less crazy than I otherwise would by reminding myself that most people WANT to suspend disbelief so that they can be entertained. And really, if you think about it, real life makes far less sense than fiction anyway.


    • I most certainly do not sneak into your house at night to observe your dreams.

      That’s what the transmitter is for (if you think back, I’ll bet you realize you have a few hours unaccounted for back in 1994…).

      I’m getting old, so I need to see those things on a big screen these days. 😉


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