I’ve been sitting here contemplating the Port Gallatan Series from a few different angles including a stubborn refusal to let what was Hollow Shelter go without a fight.
The premise is just too good in my opinion. It’s also close to my heart.
That isn’t to say in its current form it would fit the series and while I originally floated the idea – to myself – of reworking it so that it did fit the series, I decided it was probably too much work given everything else going on. So, I let it go.
Or so I thought.
I was sitting here, minding my own business (pun intended) when a niggle of an idea for a reworked story came knocking on my consciousness.
I tend to pay attention to these as even if a new book doesn’t come from them I usually get information that is of benefit.
Tune Out to Tune In.
For me, the best way to let something from the unconscious percolate to the top is to play Free Cell. The mindless repetition lulls – or perhaps bores is a better word – my mind to a daydream state whereby unconscious thoughts can be seen in the mind’s eye
Within a short time I had a great way to totally revamp that story for a future Gallatan book.
It will have a different title by then.
Satisfied I was ready to go back to Blue Skye in the Rain when another random thought popped into my head.
The unconscious wasn’t done talking apparently.
The Hero’s Journey.
That was it. That simple phrase. However, it was accompanied by images of a newspaper article I once read that was about a movie. In it the critic mentioned the movie being a “typical” hero’s journey along the lines of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.
I’m thinking that writer didn’t enjoy either movie.
The writer in me tensed up. By suggesting there is nothing more to a story than labeling it as falling into one of the 7 basic plots one risks sounding like a high school teacher trying to convince bored students the classic they are reading will change their life forever.
Oh, it may, but not always and not necessarily in a way that can be predicted.
When it comes to a novel, classifying it in such limiting terms not only denies the reader the oppoturnity to discover the adventure in the characters, setting, and subplots that make a novel entertaining, it diminishes the role of the writer in the story. I, for one, do not think, “Hm, which of the basic plots does this fall into?” when I start a story.
As with the Okcracoke Awakening Series, the first choice I made before the initial book was even fully formed was the setting.
I love the Carolinas for their rich history and love the peaceful Outer Banks Islands off their shores.
For the fictitious Pacific Northwest Port town I created something completely fabricated that was inspired by a number of ports I’d visited.
Combined with various East Coast towns throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
Though a reader may classify the storyline in such a way as to match one of the infamous plots I promise none of that was going through my mind when I came up with the idea.
I was sitting at a local haunt I went to (pre-pandemic) to have coffee and work when I came up with part of the story. A lunch in a neighboring town weeks later gave me the other piece of the light-hearted plot.
To me, oversimplifying an aspect of a fiction work is cheating reader and writer both. Far better, me thinks, to take the plunge into the adventure.
Now, back to my story. (Grin)