I’m a fan of complex, tristy trasty plots, both as a reader and as a writer. There is something very satisfying about reaching the end of a superbly crafted book with a complex plot and realizing how nicely it all fit together. But as a writer, it’s very very challenging to write a book based on a complex plot and do it well.
To be sure, its complicated to write a good story with a simple plot–still need compelling characters, a satisfying arc, strong prose and impeccable grammar. All table stakes. But to tie all this around a convoluted plot,well that’s really tough. But in the end the results are worthwhile.
So a few months back, in the depths of a writer’s block of epic proportions, I launched into writing three new novellas (all titles are just working titles):
- Hel’s Horse Cannot Swim — Valkyries, the helhest, the Cuban Missile Crisis and love, spanning three centuries
- The Faerie War — An expansion of my short story “Queen Méabh,” this is Freaky Friday meets Lara Croft and Cruella de Vil.
- The Choosers of the Slain — a paranormal yarn about a jewel thief who is murdered for his ghost, featuring Nishi and Hildi from Gho (which will be published next month).
While they all have very different story concepts, they share a common thread–really, stupidly, insanely, complex plots. Perhaps I thought that since I usually write short stories and these novellas had more length I could get away with tricky plots, or perhaps its happenstance, or perhaps I’m just wired for complexity. In any case, while I am making steady progress on all three, none will see the light of day, aka publishing, anytime soon. I’m stuck in my own web of plot twists on all three at the moment, but I’ll work it out.