Thursday, December 11, 2014

More On Revisions, Plotting and Other Silly Stuff

I talked a couple of days ago about plotting and stories that sort of take on a life of their own. I wanted to take a couple of minutes this morning, to continue that discussion.

When you come up with story ideas for that next "great story" this is the time to slow down a bit and do a little brainstorming. This is the time to really see how things fit together, or, for that matter, IF the ideas even fit together. You see, at this early phase, everything is still a jumbled mess. Your brain is sort of on auto-pilot and the thoughts are coming, not in a logical fashion, but more as a train of

These initial thoughts aren't necessarily bad, but maybe the story elements really don't fit together in the grand scheme of things. You are trying desperately to keep these things together as one unified thought, but your brain is just trying to see if those thoughts even work together. Needless to say, struggles you might have as you write the story could be a result of that lack of planning and thought before you write.

Let me give you a couple of things to consider as you think through that new great story:

1) Spend some time writing everything down. Don't worry about the order. Don't worry about the connections. Just get every one of those thoughts written down.

2) Give those days a day to digest. You might even come up with some more thoughts. If so, add those to the list.

3) Look for common connections. You want to shoot for a single common theme that will unify everything together.

Let me expand on this one. The prior book I read through from one of my clients was all of the place and it wasn't until over 75% of the way through the book when we stumbled across the theme. She had this great scene she had crafted out about the protagonist and her mother fighting. She noted that her mother always had this same theme of "if only..." with each of her arguments. THIS was that theme she had sort of scene in the early phase of her writing but didn't do much with it.

4) Don't toss out those other ideas. Keep those later, sort of as left-overs for future books.

Let me expand o this one. The book I just finished editing, this was the case. The author has this great second story line, but it really didn't feel like it was supposed to be part of this book. So we are going to work through this thought and, instead of fighting to find a way to force the two together, take the time to branch it off into a second book.

The point of all of this is simple. Think before you write. No, you don't have to plot things out, but think it out. You might find yourself much happier at the revision phase.  

No comments:

Post a Comment