Sep 20, 2010

GothNoWriMo Pre-Planning Progress 4

Today I sat down and dissected my plot cards with the Sentence Lites to find out where there were weaknesses which would lead to bland scenes. Of the seven cards, I found two with weak Sentence Lites.

Scene One:
Delighted to have company in the house, the ghost becomes afraid when she sees something in Deirdre's belongings.

Scene Two:
Unsure how to proceed, the ghost is relieved when Brian shows up at the house.

In these two examples, the text in italics show how weak the conflict is. becomes afraid is passive, although the reader might be interested in the reason behind the ghost's fear. is relieved is also passive.

I amended the Sentence Lites as follows:

Revised Scene One:
Delighted to have company in the house, the ghost pokes through Deirdre's belongings and finds something unexpected.

Revised Scene Two:
Needing live human intervention, the ghost figures out how to use Deirdre's mobile phone and rings Brian, hoping he'll respond and come to the house.

These two revised Sentence Lites are a lot stronger - the ghost is more proactive for one thing, it gives insight into her character, and gives way more scope for a few laughs. (I'm writing for the Creepy Comedy genre.)

Today, I also went through Holly Lisle's How to Think Sideways course and made a list of the tools I can use while writing the novel. I'll continue with that list tomorrow and possibly try the LUC technique to come up with one more scene. (I have a few things to do tomorrow, so time constraints might prohibit me from doing the exercise, but if I don't get it done tomorrow, I'll do it the next day.)

Something else I want to keep in mind while I'm writing is the structure. Although I follow and novel structure as it's put forward there, I prefer to keep it simple for the time being as far as the planning for my first draft goes.

So, the tool I'm using is the 8-point arc:

1 - Stasis - the initial state of the MC at the start of the story.

2 - Trigger - something disrupts the MC's life.

3 - The Quest - the MC sets out to achieve something (probably hoping it will set things back on track)

4 - The Surprise.

5 - The Climax

6 - Reversal

7 - Critical Choice

8 - Resolution or a new Stasis

As I write, I'll look at this structure to see what point I'm at in the story, and what point I should be moving towards.