This week has brought quite a bit of progress through my in-depth edits of my current WIP: Divided Draft. At the moment, I’m grappling with issues in pacing and plot progression. A lot of it has been cleaned up, but since dividing it, I need to make sure that this new 1st book is coherent outside of the larger arc. So far, so good 🙂
As I’m going through my chapters and scenes, I’ve been taking notes on index cards. It’s been a brilliant asset to me so far, helping me to keep track of where I’ve been to know where I should be going.
This is what I’ve been making notes of:
- Description – basically an overview of major occurrences in the scene
- Goal/Conflict/Disaster of Scene & Reaction/Dilemma/Decision of Sequel – If you haven’t read KM Weiland’s Structuring Your Novel, I highly HIGHLY recommend it! It is an insightful read into how to structure both the major plot and your scenes. In my revisions of my WIP, I find it most helpful in identifying scenes that need to be cut. You should also check out her website here at Helping Writers Become Authors. It is a true gem providing not only tips and advice for fiction writing but a story structure database that analyzes well known plots.
- Arc threads: Plot, Characters, Subplots – This way I can see if there is a progression in each of these from scene to scene. If something feels too static, I know to add a little change or scrap it altogether.
I also have character index cards and timeline cards, and cards that track my thematic build up… Honestly, when it comes to writing, they are a lifeline for keeping me organized.
Here’s a small excerpt from something I was editing this week:
Across town, Sean was ignorant to any ill-intentioned thoughts towards him.
He stood sentry by his stall in the crowded market space and observed the people wandering by. It was an amused fascination that kept his gaze on those meandering from display to display, seeking that one trinket they would willingly lay their currency on, that one trinket that could bring them joy—fleeting and superficial though it might be.
Their lives were dull, these people who made their existence on dry land. It satisfied him to know that he had escaped such doldrums. Every day was an adventure on the ocean, every moment one of bliss. The seas were his realm, his freedom unchecked. Yes, he alone determined the path he traversed; he was master of his own destiny. If he thought that with enough conviction, he could trick himself into believing it was true.
Here’s a question for you: how do you outline or organize your story? Do you use index cards? Or keep a notebook? Or do you use some sort of writing software?
May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,
©Faith Rivens. 2016