Friday, May 9, 2008

The Grand Scheme

I'm gearing up to start in on SKINNERS #2 and it's gotten me thinking about series writing in general. I've written a couple other series in other genres and I've always had a pretty good idea of where the whole thing was headed. You need to have some sort of plan to sell the thing, anyway, so that's no surprise. However, the whole writing process should be very fluid and little things should be allowed to change the course of larger events. I used to know someone who despised water analogies, but the whole "ripple in a pond" seems to fit here. Sorry about that.

The thing that I'm wondering is if it's good or bad to have a whole timeline, story arc, flow chart and plot points drawn onto a diagram of some sort or if it's better to fly by the seat of your pants and go where the story takes you. The author needs to be in control of the world they created, but I've had plenty of things evolve into something that turns out to be a lot better than what I'd originally thought up. As with anything, it's probably a middle ground somewhere, but I'm leaning more toward the fluid process as opposed to multiple outlines and all that mess. Isn't that what creativity is? If a series could just be diagrammed, then a computer could be programmed to write it.

I believe it all boils down to the characters that are created. They're the ones that need to be thought out and strictly recorded as they go along. If characters are good enough, a writer can let them go and record what happens. That's my approach to a lot of it. By the time I get to know a character, I know they would never do what I had originally planned for them and forcing them to do it wouldn't seem right. Of course, this approach makes it a little scary going into a new project. Those outlines and diagrams are very comforting. Then again, a big recliner is comforting, but skydiving is a hell of a lot more fun than sitting and enjoying all the padding framed around your ass.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.