Sunday, April 12, 2009

Othren Four-Scars and the Search for the MacGuffin

The new story about Oth from The Battle of Raven Kill is at 1300 words and has some interesting developments. First, I've decided to use his full name which I didn't do in RotS. In this story he's younger and a bit more full of himself. The name denotes skill and cunning and he wants everyone to know it. (Since William S. Preston, Esquire, had already been done, I went with the idea I'd had before but never used.) Second, I launched into the story not knowing what the quest object was. Usually I'll get to the point in the tale where some kind of goal needs to be revealed and sit back until I think of a cool sounding name. When nothing came to me I just typed [macguffin] and moved along. I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've actually written a story that way. Many thanks to Alfred Hitchcock for giving us a more interesting way to refer to The Thing That Drives The Plot.

1 comment:

Keanan Brand said...

Othren Four-Scars -- cool name!

I have all sorts of gaps in my manuscripts, usually underlined spaces that are then highlighted in yellow so I can see them right away, in which material of some sort must be inserted before the final draft. Sometimes its a name, sometimes a location or a fact, but prayers, songs, and bits of foreign language get their blanks, too, until I can find out what they are.

This practice frees me up to keep going with the main body of the story.

I used to get hung up in those spots, until one day I had a "Duh!" moment, left the gap, and kept going.