Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Writing progress

Story Title: A Necessary Evil (aka The One About the War)
Words revised today: 0
Words now in Chapter 2: Same as yesterday
Percentage reduction: Same as yesterday
Words total: Same as yesterday
Reason for stopping: I need to have a bath and wash my hair and get stuff ready for work tomorrow.

Although no words were revised, I did do quite a bit of thinking about the WIP during my cycle ride this afternoon. I need to get the novel into shape so it doesn't just straggle on like the scarves I knitted when I was a kid. If I just start to write a novel and let it go where it will, I end up with something shapeless, something that -- if it were a scarf -- gets wider and narrower and goes a bit squiffy where I didn't manage to control the tension properly or where I dropped a stitch and didn't notice. With many drafts and a lot of struggling, I can make it sort of resemble a novel, but I've found that getting the skeleton of the shape first saves an awful lot of time and effort.

In my post here, I mentioned Lars Eighner's plot structure, which he has based on a film structure. I'm sure there are other perfectly workable novel outlines, but this seems to work and helps me get hold of the shapeless story material, the sprawling "real life" of the fictional world, and shape it into something that reads well as a Story.

In case it's of interest to anyone, here is my version, done in the mindmapping software. I have saved a blank template so that for each new novel I can fill in the details.

I have the "hook". That's Mark finding himself washed up on a strange shore, being attacked by monsters and saved by Huw and his comrades. I think I know Plot point A, which will be Mark coming to terms with the fact that he can never go home and committing himself to the fight against the bad guy Kararl. (This means that things have to happen in a slightly different order to the way they happen at the moment.) I'm pretty sure I have Plot point B too and then the twist so that the ending is not what you expect. Then I need enough resolution so that the book will stand alone, even though there is another novel needed to complete the story.

This week I need to fill in all the boxes so that I get the structure clear in my mind. After that, I tend to ignore it because it's the process rather than the end result that is the important thing. The Browne Circular Diagram is the tool I use while I'm actually writing.
Tags: a necessary evil, writing reflection

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