Anatomy of a story Part 5: The proverbial changing-horses-in-the-middle-of-the-stream…

Sorry, been out and down a few days with some virus and not Covid. Apparently all the usual bugs are still running about too, looking for equal time. Back to our discourse–I was stuck and the story just wasn’t working.

As I said, New Myths is picking up this story:

Again, it’s not coming out for a while–maybe next year, but as I said, I went through the entire process of this story and it helped me look at how I went from the idea to the printed page.

Don’t know if Susan from New Myths will read these entries, but if so, she’s sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute. This is not even close to what I accepted for publication.”

And you would be correct. 😊.

I was stuck and the monster in the birds theme thing was not working. I let it sit and a couple of days later my imagination stopped by and said, “You need to do some research on these starlings. Find out if there’s anything in mythology we can tie to your monster and go from there.”

Good call. I told you I could count on it. I dug into starlings and mythology, looking for all kinds of angles I could use to get the story going again. I ran across info about birds being the gatekeepers to the world of the dead, but not starlings. I read about omens and birds and then I happened upon the word in my title: murmuration.

Incidentally I didn’t have a title until that moment and once I read up on murmurations I knew it was the right call and I was going to figure this thing out.

And then I ran across entries on the Ancient Romans. I got to reading how the Romans relied on Augurs to read bird signs to answer questions for all kinds of things in the Roman era: where to build buildings, solve problems, you name it.

I rolled this around in my head for an evening, my imagination and I have an in-depth on this new information.

And suddenly we both realized the monster angle was all wrong. It wasn’t working and I couldn’t answer my slew of questions because this wasn’t supposed to be a story about monsters….what if the birds WERE talking to Cassie? They weren’t showing her a monster, BUT giving her information. And maybe not just any ole information but predicting the future and helping her?

Yeah, but what purpose would that serve and why her and so on? My imagination hit on an angle: “what if they’re testing her?” ??? said I. “What if it’s not just her, but they’re putting those calls out there for all kinds of people, kids and adults and testing to see who can hear what they have to say?”

Okay, but what’s the source? “This was big in the Roman age, so…” And I gave the rhetorical, so what?  “Do the math,” my imagination told me and then I started nodding 😊.

Boom. We’re moving again…