Saturday, January 27, 2007

PLOTSTORM 12 aka Writing Spree


I hit 30k last night around nine then my arms started to blurr and my eyes went numb.....I drank a bowl of chili mac and ate a cup of cold coffee with texas toast.

Yes, getting into the zone and going on a writing spree like this short curcuits my brain for every other activity.....what was my name again?

As of now, the story is slowing momentum. So I'm at a point where I will skim through what I have, resist the urge to edit or write in the middle because I always repeat or mess something else when I do that, then reevaluate where I am in the overall plot. Right now I'm just trying to be sure the story flows in a coherent, cohesive manner, and that I'm spacing all my major plot points ro inciting events in a logical manner. Consistant pacing, etc, so I don't have to do major revisions by the end. I almost always overwrite by several thousand words and right now, I don't worry if I get to the end and go over or under. Right now, I'm just focused on getting the bones of the story down, which for me at this point consists of mainly dialogue, a few action beats or tags so I can figure out who's speaking, and narrative/introspection.

Stronger setting and sensory descriptions will come later. I am doing all my chapter beginning and ending hooks as I go along, and often have most of those secure before I start.

Last night, when I got near the middle and needed more conflict (since my characters were getting along way too well) I thought of some major wrenches to throw at my characters. What I like to do is put them in a calm, serene scene where everything seems peachy then WHAMMO! Something happens to tilt their equilibrium and chaos erupts.

I'm striving to have conflict on every page if I can, whether it be internal(character against him/herself), external(character against another character or outside force), spiritual(character's faith struggle with church or God or their belief system). Robin Miller and Camy Tang taught me how very important it is to have conflict on every page. If you struggle with this in your writing, and can scrape up the money for an edit from one of these gals, I can almost guarantee what they teach you will help you in all future works of fiction. Plus it will be one of the best things you can do with your money to further your writing career, or calling.

Check out my links to the right for Camy's Story Sensei and Robin's Critique Boutique.

Another author with a wellspring of great writing tips on her site taught me that it's best to have at least three solid reasons for a scene to be there. If each scene doesn't have at least three reasons for being there, then either build the scene up so you do, or omit it altogether.

So at this point, I'm striving to keep my internal editor off as far as grammar and sentence structure, etc. And focus on making sure my characters are consistant with who I envisioned them, as well as making sure my scenes have sufficient conflict and three reasons for being there.

Some reasons I have/ things I strive to accomplish in a scene:

Hook the reader into the story (opening scene) and keep them reading (ie-hooky chapter beginnings and ends)
Introducing or endearing my characters to readers
Furthering the plot
Ramping conflict
Building on characterization
Revealing character Goal, and Motivation
Advancing the romance

These are just some of the main reasons I write particular scenes. I'm sure there are others, but as I said before, my brain is in story mode and I can't quite think logically when I'm in that deep creative realm.

This morning before I even got out of bed, and while I worked out I prayed for God to give me what He wants me to write today. I prayed He'd help me write real characters that people will remember, because it's very, very important to me for my characters to be memorable. So I really try to do that in my scenes. I also ask Him to let His character flow naturally from the story, through a character's struggle or epyphany or relationship with God that I've fashioned. The relationship, not the God. He's already Supremely fashioned. LOL! See? Told ya my brain was fizz. I'm also asking God to help me think of ways to create a page-turner of a story. I heard a prayer once by someone, and I'm so sorry I cannot remember who said it, or I'd give them credit for it, but they said, "I pray people like my books so well and are so entrenched into the story(my paraphrase) that they walk into poles going down the street because they can't put the book down."

Yes and amen. I'm hoping people need ice packs and a box of tissue when they read mine, too. I hope to evoke emotion and in this stage of the writing spree, that's my goal if even a spark of it. I can perfect it later. The main, number one thing though at this point is just to:

Get the story down. Not getting the story perfect.

Okay, I'm off to write again.


-- Gal. 2:20 Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008

1 comment:

Christa said...

I love reading about your processing as you write. Could you write a book about that please?! I'll be happy to dump a truckload of questions on you that can provide fodder for it!