I’ve been working all day on fleshing out my Til Death wiki. I’ve added sections for all 3 Acts, put in subsections for components of those acts, transferred the relevant portions of the big summary to the proper Act, fleshed out the section on meeting my antagonist, filled out the section on my hero and heroine’s hopes and fears and what the stakes are for the story, developed the central question of the plot, found a picture for Wyatt and another for the ghost, and even came up with a theme. Imagine that, a theme. Me! I’ve never consciously had a theme to any of my work before. Pot and I were talking about that recently in response to some post or other we read (I think). I forget how we got on the topic, but when I started talking about how my characters are changed during the story, it came out that everybody’s stuff related to trust. A lot still to go, but I’m pleased with what I got accomplished.
Tomorrow I think I’d like to do some work on the victimology section, fleshing out the basics of each of the victims, their deaths etc., as well as some more specifics of my killer’s profile. And I’d like to start planning out some of the scenes for that first Act. I’ve been trying hard to generate some new ideas so as not to be stuck on the stuff I outlined or wrote for the original version of this book. I want to be sure that the scenes I plan out serve the story rather than just being easy because I’ve done them before.
I seem to have developed a pattern of writing at least 1, more likely 2 partial drafts of something before I finally settle on my final plot. Some would say I need to do a better job plotting before hand, but it seems like that’s part of how I get to know my characters well enough to really write about them. Usually I make valiant efforts to plot, but I’m itching to get started on the actual writing or I’m burning to get a particular scene or sequence down. Then I rarely go back to finish plotting like I should. I suppose on one level I feel like all the plotting doesn’t give me anything to “show” for all my work and time. I’m trying to change my attitude on that. If I plot things out well, fill out the various novel notebooks and character worksheets and whatnot, then by the time I sit down to write I should actually waste less time in the long run hemming and hawing over where to go next because I’ll already know.
Cheryl over at Learn To Write Fiction posted about plotting methods today. She directed us to this post on the Snowflake Method which is a very well thought out version of what Pot and I were trying to do with the ripple plotting exercise last week. Randy Ingermansan’s method would, in theory, allow you to figure out if you had a viable plot long before you’d written actual draft. I’m not sure how appealing his method is to me, but Pot got excited about it. She’s a lot more patient for plotting stuff than I am. We’ll just see how I do with all the wiki work and go from there.