Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Conf 260: Writing By Numbers

No. of skips: 100
No. of new words: 3,290

Peculiar way of carrying on really, all this writing down of stuff and then deleting most of it.

However, a new chapter 1 now exists. It needs some tidying, but:

It puts the character at the cusp of big, unforeseen changes and trying to cope. Floundering, but showing strength, weakness, faults, sensitivity.

Introduces the 2 other main characters and her feelings about them from page 1.

It has a few jokes.

She's much more rounded. I can see her quite clearly, looks a bit like Marian Keyes: little, with those lovely eyes. Redhead though.

The C1 conflict foreshadows the big change she goes through later on.

Spells out one of main themes in big, bold letters ten foot high, but there you are, at least it can't be missed now.

And, a la Shields, shows her doing what she's best at (workwise I mean).

Am still intrigued by this scene structure method. I have only dipped into it before, but did use it here. I printed up a sheet, several sheets for any other rewrites to fill in for each chapter. Not to a tee, but in all this creating something from nothing business, worth the crack I think.


CHAPTER.........


GOAL
What she wants at beg of scene. Specific. Clearly definable. Makes her proactive





CONFLICT
Obstacle




DISASTER
something awful happens






REACTION
emotional follow through to disaster, show her reacting to disaster, show her hurting







DILEMMA
No good choices. Work through the choices, come to least-bad option



DECISION
MAke her decide. Make it a good decision. Risky, but a chance of working
= NEW GOAL

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

2 comments:

Clare said...

Eek, can't look at computer now without seeing Jesus everywhere!

I'm currently revising 1st draft into 2nd draft, and have been doing similar thing: Looking for goals, actions, resolutions, decisions etc for every single scene. It's given me good perspective and has forced me to make major changes all over the place. I'm pretty sure the book will be much better because of it, but it does make me worry a bit. What about spontaneity? Still, if it works, don't knock it - right?

Amanda Mann said...

Agree. Have no idea if have HowToDoitis or if it'll all be really worth while in the end. Did none of it with the other novels, but then they weren't great successes were they? Who knows? Good luck with it anyway. Am reading V Woolf Short Stories at the moment and can't help thinking all she had was a crackling fire and Leonard bringing her crumpets, none of these 38 Mistakes and all the rest of them.