Sunday, March 04, 2007


Mailed my revisions the end of last week despite my computer crash. Thank God for flash drives. LOL!

Okay, so now I'm going to come back to our regularly scheduled plotstorm for book three.

Most of the story is rough drafted. What I'll be doing this week is called layering. Since I'm below my word count (which is good considering I haven't really added in all my sensory and setting descriptions) I will go through and layer in stuff***. So right now, I have the basic bones of the story down, broken up into chapters, and I know my characters upside down and inside out. So let's go over what we've done so far. Characterization was pretty much complete on first pass. The main issue there is to be sure your characters are likable and sympathetic, but not perfect since they need to grow during the story, and have some kind of spiritual or emotional epiphany. With the characters being well-developed, I have also (in the story) established in the readers' mind my characters' goals(what do they want to obtain or accomplish by the end of the book?), motivation (why do they want this goal? What is driving them to obtain this? Why is it so important to them?) made clear in the story by different means###. The different means### can include during dialogue (short snippets), brought up on introspection (briefly, you want NOT to have huge dumps of backstory. No more than a few sentences at a time. Sprinkle it throughout, don't dump it all at once on the reader.). I have also tossed major wrenches and hurdles at my characters throughout the story.

Conflcit: I've upped the stakes and made it seem to the reader like there is no way things are going to work out okay between the characters. Not only relationally, but with their individual story goals. And though this is romance, your heroine's sole goal can't be to get the guy and vice versa. They need personal goals, and it's great if their personal goals clash with or challenge the developing romance. Just a note here about relationship conflict. It's best for the conflict not to be based solely on misunderstanding (meaning with good communication, the heroine and hero's probs can be worked out). It's also best if your characters don't constantly bicker. I mean they can, but don't make that THE conflict. It's a mistake I made when starting out. I thought argument mean conflcit and conflict meant argument. Be creative. Even positive things can bring about conflict.

Okay so I'm going to be going through the story right now and making sure it is coming across as cohesive and in a logical progression. I'll also be making sure I've tied up all loose ends(such as the fact I started out chapter two having a cat and forgot about it at some point in the story until chapter 12 LOL!), and addressed all issues(such as feeding and nurturing the poor forgotten cat). I'm going to be adding in (layering) stronger setting and sensory description. For example: A scene as I have it now may read:

Chance sat in the chair and faced the window while he sipped his coffee. He just knew that everthing would be okay. He trusted Manny and Joel.
Since it's best to show readers instead of tell them, and also you want to strive to write in deep POV (Point of View) I may rewrite or change that to something like: White snowflakes glistened in the lamplight as Chance stared out the window. Mesmerized, he lowered himself to the oversize footstool. Its plush softness enveloped him like a hug from a friend. Warmth from the fireplace rested on his back. Pine wood crackling and coffeepot gurgling another pot of French Roast were the only sounds both competing with and calming his thoughts. Chance lifted the cool ceramic to his mouth and drained the cup of the last drop, running his fingers over the silver scroll cross embelleshing the white enamel. Sugar and cream sludge doctored his taste buds as a sweet, overwhelming peace flooded his emotions. It would be okay. Joel and Manny said so. And he trusted them with his life . . . and hers.

Okay that's a quick and rough and extreme example but you have all sensory in the scene now so the reader will FEEL like they're RIGHT THERE WITH CHANCE.
Sights (snowflakes), sounds (crackling and gurgling, french roast), smells (Coffee & pine), touch (softness of footstool, warmth from fire), taste (sugar and cream).

I've also deepened the emotion by giving him the peace and by having that snippet of internal monologue (It's going to be okay). I've also deepened his characterization by showing (not telling) the reader that he trusts his fellow teammates. I've also nixed two unneccesary words (That and just.) MOST of the time, you can take those words out of the sentence and still maintain the effect you want. And your text is less clunky. About the only time I'd leave a "that" or "just" in there is in dialogue if a character has a tendency or a quirk of using one or the other. Then I'm make certain no other characters have that same quirk or use that particular word in their speech. You want your characters to be as distinct from one another as possible.

Okay, that's it for today. We'll talk more about writing in Deep Point of View another time.

Hope this helps.


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

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


Hope Chastain said...

Good. Good. Good!!! I'm working on mine. I think maybe what I'll do is, as an exercise, write in first person for the H & h, and then translate it back into third...
Meanwhile, the sample with Chance is WONDERFUL!!!!!


Patricia W. said...

Boy, does that help! Or at least it illuminates the difference between writing and writing. Thanks for a wonderful example.

christa said...

Okay, I'm being sooooooo pushy....But could you set up a PLOTSTORM category on your blog, so they could be archived in one place. It really helps to read the thread as you are writing and developing.

Just a thought (or a beg. . .)! Thanks ever so much.

ScrollSquirrel said...

Okay, as soon as I figure out how to do that, I sure will. I've wanted to for awhile, and put my blush and cringe in one section, etc.

Thanks for the suggestion!