The state of design has reached a moment exhibiting either an abundance of opportunity, or an abundance of clutter.
If this sounds bad, it isn’t. The abundance is manageable through thoughtful editing where poverty is more difficult to reverse through forced creation. My design of An Author’s Inspiration makes few demands for data entry by the writer, but at this stage, I have more options to fulfill than I have reasons to use them.
So, the question to answer is do I march forward into what might be a baroque design, or do I sit back and trim it down into a straightforward one?
To the writer, it may seem that the few configuration files available for editing don’t carry much material. By number, for instance, the character files do have 20 entries to fill in. 19 of those 20 are single word or numeric entries. This amounts to two or three sentences, tops, for the writer to characterize their characters. Then there is the 20th entry which could easily top this several times over with a character sketch; however, it barely tips the scale in outline generation.
The inspiration of An Author’s Inspiration is that in those 19 entries, their combinations as keys to character analysis bring the abundance of psychological revelation. I have to be careful that this abundance does not fatigue the writer with too many emotional twists. When it comes to two characters being considered within a beat, this promises to raise the stakes 19-fold. Considering the full set of characters within a beat raises the stakes further which could render a novel-length outline.
To this point in the design, it has been focused on the Point Of View character, typically the protagonist, but An Author’s Inspiration is agnostic here, and should be able to present the antagonist with equanimity. What I am saying here is that An Author’s Inspiration should present an authentic psychological vision of any character that is consistent with the writer’s description of them in 20 entries.
However, each character carries a suite of buddies, friends, and one loathsome individual that they are sensitive too. So far I’ve done nothing with that association, but in every beat there is the possibility of their contributions to the character’s motivations add in complex ways. Do I compound all their stress contributions into one? And if I do, how does this risk in upsetting the expected narrative arc?
Another way of approaching this crowd of supporting characters is to simply provide each with their own response to the situation, and abandon the complexity of combining them into one expression of tension and its resolution within the beat. This last may be achievable if, in fact, the user of An Author’s Inspiration would find it useful.