May 1st, 2011


In Which We Make A Scene (#ROW80 Check-In)

Or, Firsts and Lasts and In-Betweens

It's hard to believe I've been pegging away at Big Dang Project for four months now, and how much has happened during that time.  Now seems a good time to revisit our goals and the progress we've made.  The Tech Monkey and I purchased the condo we'd been renting for several years that went into foreclosure.  Tech Monkey left the Job From Hell, walked into large arcade that wasn't hiring, and a week later was offered a decidedely Much Better Job.  Now he can concentrate on going back to school in an effort to obtain Totally Awesome Dream Job.  It has been some years since the Tech Monkey was happy in the aspect of Ye Olde Day Jobbe, and Writer Monkey is thrilled for him.  And, of course, there is the matter of Writer Monkey's first ever sale, St. Brighid's Cross, to Samhain Publishing, Ltd.  Life, as they say, is rosy. 

So.  Four months of work on The Weekend Novelist has produced some really terrific material that is now beginning to come to fruition.  We've created an Aristotle's Incline of key scenes and sacred objects, done extensive character work with wardrobes and dreams, considered and discarded the idea of plotting with more than one protagonist, that still helped clarify potential subplots.  We've nailed down the story's spine, Redemption/Failure.  We have a working synopsis. 

In #ROW80 terms, this means we have completed our goals for Bit The Beginning, and can move on to Bit the Middle, scene work.

Scene work began with kicking FK loose taking a look at his chonology of dates and back story, and doing timed writing using his firsts and lasts as book ends to key points in his history.  His FIRST day of school versus his LAST day of school; the FIRST time he made love versus the LAST time he made love, etc, two minutes each for several prompts.

A character date chronology lists the dates or ages at which they reach certain thresholds of their life, the closing of one door and opening of another, and it was done during the section of character work. I used the chronology of dates for each of my main characters to pinpoint where and when their paths cross.  Even if this information doesn't get used for any of my key scenes, it will still be used at some point.

There will be several First Encounter scenes to write for Big Dang Project: The first time FK meets not only the antagonist(s), but also the helper and romantic interest characters.  I'll spend the week working on each of them, following the routine that served me so well in writing St. Brighid's Cross: the location of the scene or scene sequence within the plot architecture framework, spinning the scene down the page with action, image, and dialogue snippets, a scene profile jotted down on an index card, then writing the scene itself.  Once it's all in Scrivener, I can then decide whether the scene is going to be included in the manuscript itself or be used as supporting material.

Speaking of St. Brighid's Cross, when last we met I had just turned in my contracts to my executive editor and my blurb info/cover art packets to my Intrepid story editor.  Once the other two authors, Katherine and Mina, do the same, we're going to share some of our research pictures and cover art idea photos to choose an overall theme for the anthology.  Within the next month or so I should receive my first editorial letter.  So best get cracking on Big Dang Project while I have the time!