Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Now we're getting somewhere. Once again, I am taking entirely long to post. *sigh* Much ado about the day job and all that. Plus I've been hovering around the next step in my writing, that of breaking down the scenes for the book. Not sure why, probably a mix of fear, uncertainty and a healthy dose of 'where do I start?' So I just started.

Right now I'm thinking one scene per chapter, but that's in the future, once the actual prose takes shape. For now it's just a somewhat arbitrary benchmark. I'm outlining in some detail (i.e. a paragraph or so) for each scene. The key for me is to do a few things:
1) outline the action - make sure it's not too much or too little, that the scene has purpose and moves at the right pace
2) maintain point of view - in the margin for each one, I outright state the PoV character. I even alter the way I outline to ensure I'm thinking from the mind of the right character.
3) establish some flow and get the story down in detail.

Granted, I could probably just jump into the prose and have at it, but I'm not like that. Maybe with more experience, but right now I want to make sure I get the story tight. Make sure I cover all the plots and subplots (or erase/chage them) that I listed in the overall plot breakdown. This way, each layer of the story becomes like building a structure. Start with the design itself. The world, the characters, you have to choose the right plans. Once you have that chosen, each layer gets closer to the actual prose.

The first layer is the basic story. What is going to happen, to who, and why. Kind of like the foundation. The next is the plot outline, where more details are thrown in and the whole thing subject to the 'does this make sense' check. This is the stud walls to hold the building up. After that, the scene-by-scene breakdown, so that I don't leave anything out or let any subplots get warped. This is the structural layer, and the final reality check. All the drywall, electrics and other necessary items. After that, each scene gets layered over with prose. This is like the drywall, paint, tiles, carpet and other tasty stuff.

Enough with the analogies, though. Right now this is the way I feel comfortable, my biggest concern is to get the story right. Even though the chances of my first one selling are grim, that's no excuse for not making it the best possible.

So that's my method right now. If anyone feels like sharing, please, share away in comments.

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