Deer and Snakes, and Risks and Plotting.

(Hey, told you I was bad at titling, didn’t I?)

The deer and I have been scaring one another lately. It seems I walk too quietly for their liking and end up far too close to them before they hear me–whereupon they snort (which kind of sounds like a breathy “bah!”– like a sheep with emphysema) and burst into flight. This of course catches me completely off-guard, because I’ve been walking around with my head in a story, mumbling to myself about plot, villains, villain-protagonists, deadlines–all the stuff that emerges when I start walking. In the end, I’m not sure who ends up more startled, them or me. I at least can laugh about it, once I catch my breath.

Yesterday brought stunning fall weather, with sunny skies and temps up into the mid-seventies. We took a quick walk to the marina below us on the hill and came across this snake basking in the sun on the road. Well, I couldn’t just leave him there, now could I? With all the SUVs running up and down the hillside ready to turn it into snakeskin tread?

Somnolent snake–don’t you just want to baby it?

The poor thing was practically comatose; hubby thought it was already dead until he managed to glimpse the black tongue lick out. I lifted it with a long, thick stick and moved the snake to the side of the road, but before it got there it wiggled off and slithered away from me, intent on escape. It was sprightly then!

I know all this probably means a massive amount of rejection coming my way…but hey, you never gain anything without risk. I’d rather send things out for the rejection rounds than play it safe and never submit.

As for risky storytelling, I’m trying something new. Well, new for me, at least. I’m going to try a steampunk tale. I’ve had a character, two actually–a ‘hero’ and the POV character who the story is actually about. But…I have struggled and struggled to find a plot. Oh, I had setting, and character development, and gew-gaws galore. Just no story. Not one I could feel happy or excited about. Ouch.

Saturday night I woke up at 2 am (which normally would not please me) with a complete revelation–an entirely new steampunk story idea, one with an actual plot as well as interesting characters! My oh my! Guess what I’m working on today? (imagine my very big grin–I love having a plot for a change!)

So, what to do with the first idea? Well, it’s still in the folder on my hard drive for misplaced story bits. It may see life later, in some form or another. It may not ever leave the Hard-Drive of Failed Story Ideas (that’s kinda like the Island of Misfit Toys, ya know). Whatever happens to it, I know I couldn’t have gotten to the current story idea (which is so entirely different from the original it’s ludicrous to look for similarities) without going through this failed iteration. So, is it a failure after all? I think not; it was  just a stepping stone to something better.

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About M.E. Garber

I'm an itinerant Ohio-born speculative fiction writer now living in north central Florida.
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3 Responses to Deer and Snakes, and Risks and Plotting.

  1. Puss in Boots says:

    That attitude is going to get you good places, lady! They’re all stepping stones. 😀

    Like

    • M.E. Garber says:

      Yep, they are. Sometimes I despair that the place they’re taking me to is an early grave…but I’ve managed to survive so far at least. (I promise, I’m not a zombie!) So, on to the next step! Fame? Fortune? No, back to the computer keys. Which is a fine place to be.

      Like

  2. Sonya says:

    Nice snake! I have a book of 1/2 lyrics and one line wonders waiting for the “rest of the story.” Merry Christmas early, more like Happy Yule.

    Like

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