Once Upon A Time: On Henry


I got the first season of OUAT on DVD for Xmas and have been doing a rewatch. Simultaneously, I’ve been plotting the second draft of my novel using the hero’s journey as a rough template, so I had the concept of the Guide archetype in my head while watching.

Assuming Emma Swan is the Hero of OUAT, the first Guide she encounters, at least in season one, is her son, Henry. He has the “Once Upon A Time” book, and he is constantly interpreting events and people for Emma (also, for Mary-Margaret/Snow White, and Graham/the Huntsman) in terms of the book so that she can see herself in the larger picture of what she is supposed to accomplish as the “savior.”

Spoilers through the end of season 1, with some unspoiled speculation

Too many stories

One thing I’ve realized this week is that there are too many stories I want to tell all at once, and I am trying to tell them all in one novel. Now, the simple reply to that is, “Concentrate on one character, one story, and write a book series for the others.” Except that all of the stories occur simultaneously and are interconnected. Gee…just like my last novel. Now one idea I had was to write a series that tells the same story, each time from a separate point of view. Or, write one long story in such a way that it has convenient stopping points in mid-stream, so that book one is part one, and then the story continues in the next novel.

Then I smack myself and say, “You haven’t even scratched the surface of the first one, and you’re planning a series? Get back to writing.”

It’s just…I can’t stop myself from writing all of them at once. I can’t.

Original fiction project – week of 4/26/2009

Another week, another five morning pages, this time totalling 2,077 words. I am really glad I have developed this practice, but only a couple things are keeping it from turning into a rut of me tapping out prose that doesn’t excite me. One morning, I was writing something about the mythology of my spirit creatures when I just thought, “Ugh, I don’t like this.” So I rewrote the same paragraph four times, each time changing the details until I wrote something that actually interested me. That’s a useful technique to remember.

The other thing that occurred to me, since I am writing in character POV now (when I remember to–hey, it’s 5:30 am when I do this stuff), is to bring in the soap opera already. I have realized this since I started re-reading my old novel, Dis/inhibition. It’s got a lot of stuff about grad school and careers and life, but in the main, it’s about relationships. X loves Y but cheats with Z. A is at odds with their boss, B, and does conniving things to get the upper hand in the relationship. That sort of stuff. It doesn’t come as naturally to me now as it did ten or fifteen years ago, but it’s still what draws a person into a story, even if it’s about space aliens or spirit beings.

It’s also time again for me to go through what I’ve written up until now and pick out the parts I like the best and expand on them in what I write next.

And just keep at it, even when I feel like it’s in a rut.