Why I don’t use outlines

Last night I stayed up late writing even though I had finally gotten an ARe account and bought A Dangerous Invitation for a dollar. I already had 400 words or so that I’d written ages ago, but I’d given them a quick skim, edited a little to update it to my current style, and then added to the end because it was nagging at me.

The original idea that I had in mind was to take the train of exiles idea from Final Fantasy 13, solve the many, MANY logical fallacies with sense and do it for a reason rather than just to set up the government as the most generic bad guys ever. In fact, the government in this story is no more corrupt than any well-functioning one in a modern setting. I’ve been reading about Eleanor of Aquitaine, so I have this thing for actual thinking in politics.

The changes that I had in mind were to have the process have very clear reasons and be based on resignation, rather than a load of cryptic control and uninformed fear. The region is bordered by a vast wasteland, which is inhabited by monsters. Sometimes, monsters break in, at a frequency of once every few months, maybe a high of four or five a year. When this happens, there’s property damage, usually people get killed, and almost always, the monster spews spits on everybody and those people will draw other monsters.

Logical choice is to send these people out into the wastelands. Presumably, people do live there, it’s not impossible, and with four monsters a year, more will have to go. In the wastes, they can afford to be nomadic, and the spitty scent on them disperses better in the open country. The monsters act very differently in their own ecology than when they stumble into the city. Maybe they’re even just like old lions or starved wolves. The point is that the wastes are not certain death.

However, should people want to die rather than leave their homes behind for a hard, probably nomadic life that is nothing like what they know, the transport that takes the marked people into the wastes is outfitted with suicide pills. Life is all about choice.

People know about monsters, they know about exile, and the suicide pills might even be common knowledge. It’s just one of those things. Most people live their whole lives without having to worry about it. My main character figured she’d be one of them. And… she might be. I don’t know now.

While I was establishing her personality and profession (the oldest profession, heh), some things changed. I figured I’d just send her home to fight with her roommates, which would make her stand around in a part of the city she usually avoids, and then the monster would show up there. But then, while I was writing, events sort of got away from me, and she ended up fighting off a mad-eyed client and running naked down the fire escape.

Who knows what will happen now. I had some loose notes, like the stuff I wrote here, but now I’m kind of playing with what happens as it comes up. This is a girl who does things.


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