Editing and editing and editing.
How much feline behavior is too much and where should those descriptions go? AHHHHH, I don’t know. I have a few pages of notes and each time I look over them I think to myself, “screw the cat stuff and get on with the story.” The next day, the “cat stuff” is the story. Not the plot, but their story. They are cats or at least felines and that kind of behavior should be there.
So I continue to work on their story and the plot.
I like the direction of the story. I love the feel. I love that each of the pieces of fiction I have presented and how they are part of the same universe and have ties to one another, even if you, the reader, cannot see them yet.
And then there are the details. The details of the stories and the writing details I continue to add with each revision and expansion. I can say that the five years of education are paying off in ways I did not foresee. Yet, “cat stuff” bothers me.
When I create characters I do so with an idea sometimes as simple as a man with a mohawk or in the case of Puddles and Whiskers, after listening to our daughter talk about why cats cannot carry pistols, but can use frying pans, I knew the beginning character of Puddles. She began like my daughter in many ways. However, as each section unfolds Puddles continues to grow in different ways.
I like to allow my characters to grow organically, thinking about how each of them would respond in a given situation and seeing how the action unfolds. I did this when I was a gamemaster as well. No, not for the player characters, their fate was their own. The various non-player characters and villains I created to populate the imagined world and bedevil their characters plans.
Many a time the players would express surprise when a villain went off and did their own thing in stead of constantly confronting the characters of the players. If a character can have an interest in wood working or smithing, why can’t my villain have an interest in world history or ancient carvings of the 9th elven dynasty? That’s right there is no reason why not, thus when the characters raid his latest secret base and he is not their he is off pursuing other goals.
I’m trying to do that with the fiction as well. The characters grow organically and the characters you cannot see do their thing as well. Except…you can’t see some of the action can you? This causes problems for readers and for me when I have to explain “well so and so was doing this and that” and the logical response is, “Why didn’t you include that?” Um…I don’t know.
And here I sit the author and gamemaster trying to figure out how much of the story I really should be writing while trying to let characters grow organically and all the while wondering how much “cat stuff” is too much “cat stuff.”