Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Plotting Machine

Though I never really liked school, I'll admit to feeling a certain wistfulness as I wandered past the stacks of Back to School supplies in Wal-Mart Saturday morning. It was all I could do not to buy some spiral notebooks and theme books, because that's where I used to do all my writing. My first couple of novel length manuscripts were written in notebooks. They were Panthans of Mars and The Madman of Mars, sequels to Edgar Rice Burroughs' mars novels, in case you were wondering. And before you ask, a Panthan is a Martian soldier of fortune. I still have both of those manuscripts, some thirty years later. I re-read them not long ago. Madman is a little clunky, but Panthans is surprisingly well plotted. Seems like I could always plot, almost from the beginning. I'm known to many of my writer friends as 'the plotting machine'. I have always theorized that this ability comes from the fact that I have absorbed literally thousands of stories, not only from books but from movies, television, comic books, etc, and since I have a nearly photographic memory, I can access all of those plots and recombine them. However, it seems that even early on, I had a good grasp of how to tell a story. My pal Laura always says I should go to Hollywood and make a fortune as a script doctor. I don't think I'm cut out for life in L.A. though.

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