The vacuum cleaner wasn't working yesterday, so on the pretext that it was necessary to fix it before cleaning the rest of the hovel, I dismantled it.
I love machines. They're so logical. Everything begins as linear motion. Then cogs and belts transform that into circular motion. Nothing could be clearer. All I had to do was understand how the parts worked together and figure out where things went awry. So I got down on the floor with some tools and set to work tracing the problem. Tinker, test, tinker, test. Pure geek girl nirvana.
If only writing stories were so straightforward. Or maybe it is.
Character A does something. (linear action)
Character B complains that Character A is "Always doing that," and "Since we're fighting anyway, I'm going to ambush you with this ancient bit of our history I dredged up too."
(circular, because with this person, no matter is ever settled.)
Character A wonders why Character B is suddenly picking a fight over the way Character A has always done things, while Character B vows never to forgive Character A for being such an insensitive ass. (aha! the conflict!)
I'll have to try out this approach to a story. Characters like gears, meshed together, so that when one moves, another must respond, but they can each only react in the set pattern of their character. It could be a fun exercise. Unfortunately, with the vacuum fixed, I have no more excuses to put off cleaning the hovel. So off to work... right after I figure out why the toaster doesn't brown evenly anymore.