Naming colors is like … really hard. For example, take the color green. What color is green? Well, it is like … green. Green is as green does. It is not easy being green. I am occasionally green, such as when I feel envious, or I am doing something new, or I am feeling a bit ill.
The only real way to define green is by its wavelength or frequency. I could say this color is 550 nm, this one is 530 nm, and this really cool one is 495 nm. Or, I could say I wanted my car’s color to be 565 THz, but they gave me 598 THz instead. Another choice would be to use the energy of the photon: I love the color 2.34 eV.
In my story, I had the need to name various shades of green, which was a difficult task.
“Eyes, what I remember most were the eyes. The Risirid gazed upon me with wide eyes of chartreuse, olive, aquamarine, teal, all variations on a theme of green. Amy-Ann’s eyes were different from the other Risirid. Her eyes were a saturated shade of green so pure they defined the color, a green so vivid her eyes seemed to glow, a green of gentle innocence that contradicted her intense nature.”
Variations on a Theme of Green
Ideas can come from the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times. One should keep one’s self ready to capture those ideas. I saw a headline that read, “‘Moss Man’ fails to show up for trial.” That is a good first line that prompted me to read further.
Authorities dubbed the burglary suspect Moss Man because, when caught at the crime scene, he was wearing a ghillie suit. In a brilliant flash of modest genius, a new chunk of story came to mind for my current project. Lucky me, I am almost to the point in the story where I will do a second draft of the first scene where the idea applies.
For me, ideas often start as feelings. Something sets off a spark deep within my imagination. That spark ignites a rush of dream-like thoughts that coalesce, grow, and take on life. I pause as images flood my mind, as entire worlds evolve, and a story emerges. The event is intensely emotional.
When I encountered the image at this link, that spark flared and tears came to my eyes.
A book was crying out to be written.
I have not run into anything boring because every scene, every beat reveals something new to me. I spent a lot of time up front creating back-story and character and location designs, and I created an extensive plot plan for the tale, yet I could not imagine everything. As I write, more details surface. Those revelations are exhilarating, cause a rush of excitement that makes writing addictive, and leave me wanting more.
I have an extensive idea document where I collect inspirations that often lead to future scenes. Those scene ideas are the closest I come to writing out of sequence. The idea document for my current project is almost 80,000 words. (The project is 400,000 words in five books.)
One reason I like to write in sequence is that the revelations I experience inform future scenes, and often require rewriting previous scenes. For example, I knew from the beginning that the aliens talked to each other constantly, but I did not know why. Then, in a blinding flash of insight, I realized why. In that moment of comprehension and entire layer of culture and civilization was revealed to me. I do not believe that would have happened if I had written scenes out of sequence.
Excitement for upcoming scenes does cause me some frustration as I write the setups that lead to that exciting moment. I badly want to get there. My alpha readers have also expressed a desire to get there; of course, they have been reading the setups that hint at something yet to come, but they keep having to wait for me to write the next piece.
I am currently working on the detailed plan (by mind mapping) for the chapters that cover the exciting moment. This sequence contains several of the scene ideas I collected in my idea document. Now I must figure out how to order those events logically. I have been itching to do these scenes, such as the “Bo Derik” scene that leads to the “Dragon Salivating” scene. In addition, this is where the protagonist, for the first time, sleeps curled up in his Dragon’s arms. That will be an “awe, isn’t that cute” moment.
I can’t wait. I’m getting back to work.