Since I decided on something different in the way my story will progress, I was faced with having to rethink how I'd get from Point A to B to C and so on. (Some of the stuff I wrote was dreck anyway, so it's not like I'm losing much.)

I bought an e-book on novel writing a couple of years ago and remembered something about writing down stuff in a linear manner; an overview and a more detailed view.

I thought it was a good idea, so I brought up those pages and printed them out. Basically, you start out by writing START at the bottom left of a piece of legal paper (or, if you have access to such stuff, A3 paper) and put FINISH in the upper right. It was like a re-do of the plot, but it was nice to actually see it written down (so to speak). This was the detailed view, and it's where I most of the rethinking occurred. It went very well, and I was able to then go onto the overview, which was called a template in this ebook.

This template is what I'm going to use to remind of the overall arc of the story. The ebook suggests a list of 1 to 10; I did 30 (which the ebook said wasn't a big deal). Anyway, this consists of short sentences that list the critical plot points; they're like the highlights of what's happening.

And I think these might come in handy later when I write up various lengths of synopses. (Yeah, like I'm looking forward to that.)

~Nancy Beck


Angie said...

I've never done it that formally, but I try to be aware of plot points and make sure that every scene has at least one. [nod] If it doesn't then there's a good chance the scene needs to be rewritten or cut all together because it's not moving the story along.


~Nancy said...

...there's a good chance the scene needs to be rewritten or cut all together because it's not moving the story along.

Exactly right. The only idea I came up with at the time I originally wrote this story (adopted woman goes back in time to find her birth mother) was to check her adoptive mother's diary (I kid you not); that was the beginning of the woman's search.

I didn't like it at the time I wrote it, and still didn't like it when I came back to the story this year. All that diary crap will now have to go (yay!) to replaced with what I think is a much better idea. I also needed to see how this idea was going to fit into the overall story, and using the technique I described, I saw that it did indeed fit. Plus, I've rearranged some scenes, moving them forward, which will help explain some later scenes and will also give insight into one of the other characters.