April 24th, 2011


In which We Survive (and #ROW80 Check-In)

And All We Got Was This Lousy T-shirt

All joking aside, TWN really takes the sting out of the Dreaded Synopsis.  With Act II, the longest of the acts, it's easier than ever to get bogged down in the mire of events leading to Midpoint.  To explain everything, because without all the events described in detail it might be difficult to understand how we got to the apex of where everything changes and things really start to go downhill.

To a point this is true, but the Midpoint should still be the focus for Act II.  Act II, as put forth by TWN, is a working out of agendas.  Remember this, and you can take it by the numbers.  List the agendas first in a notebook, so you don't miss any or tempted to digress.  Complications should be really coming to a head by Midpoint.

Once you have it all put down to your satisfaction it's time to turn focus on Plot Point 2.  Ramp up the tension.  Figure out new and exciting and horrible ways to torture your hero.  At Plot Point 2 everything changes again, gets as bad as it can possibly get.  The hero must decide on a course of action that will lead him or her to either win relief from the conflict or lose it all.  Lines are drawn.

Now we come to the exciting part.  The end.

 By Act III everything should be laid out, ready to be won or lost.  If any plot holes exist, this is where they'll be spotted.  I spotted one, and its resolution caused me to tighten the weave between my main storyline and the subplots involving the former Imperial Assassin and The Minstrel.  As my good guy triad, they are now fully committed to a plan.

The plan, of course, escalates to the climax, our next focus.  Everything had really better be in line here, else this is the point where it all unravels.  Have fun with this part; after all, the whole point of writing everything before is to get to this point.  You've earned it.  Finally, it's time to focus on the closing image, the true end.

Focusing on the key scenes like this really helped in paring down the complex weavings of plot and subplots into a synopsis of  between two and three pages, right where it needs to be.  It also helped in clarifying it to a point I can use the synopsis to assist in writing the Evil Query when the time comes.  I've got my hook, inciiting incident, and escalating levels of conflict and twists before the climax. 

Thanks to the long weekend, I was also able to meet my other #ROW80 goal in getting initial revisions done on another project.  All in all, I'm pleased so far with my progress.  Thanks to the The Weekend Novelist, I've been able to make more progress by having a solid plan.  It also leaves me room to have a life even with day jobbery taking up the bulk of it, always a bonus.

Next time we look at building scenes and scene-sequences.