Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Have you set scaffolding or stepping stones?

Now when I look at my notes after this point they seem to stop making sense. I either was getting tired, or had drunk too much of my wine (probably on an empty stomach), or both. However, I thought I would bullet point them anyway with the hope they may make sense to somebody else.

Pamela said: "How can you manage the whole thing without knowing what the whole thing is?"

She suggested:

  • Write the first draft as fast as you can. It can be rubbish. Just keep going. Pamela Johnson estimated she can write 50,000 words in about 10 weeks, which is about 2 hours a day. This also echoes what Jane Wenham-Jones said in her book Wannabe a Writer. See my post: Wannabe a Writer.
  • Put the key scenes in some kind of narrative order with a beginning, middle and an end. Ring binders can help to set up the beginning, middle and end and help so you can move things around.
  • Remind yourself why keep polishing chapter two when you’ve got thirty more chapters to write.
  • What is the plot and how can you find it? Can you find a beginning and middle and an end image?
  • Your story needs a timescale. Draw a timeline. Subplots can create the timeline. This prevents imposing a plot that feels wooden.
  • Decide when the story will start and when it will finish? What happens between the start and finish?
  • Ask questions of your characters and how they feel about things.
  • Structure will get you re-started if you get stuck.
  • Work organically.
  • Set up a mind space.
  • Nothing is set in stone.
  • Link scenes to know where you are going.
All the best in deciphering the above.


Absolute Vanilla... (& Atyllah) said...

Pamela Johnson sounds like a woman after my own heart. I have to write the first draft as fast as I can, it's like I have no choice, the story wants out. The work of cleaning it up happens afterwards.

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

I find it hard to work like this. I'm the type of person that keeps going back and editing and re-editing what I've written and never make any progress past chapter seven. I find it difficult to keep up the momentum.
this is why the advice on scaffolding was very useful. I need to know where I'm going.

I also tend to over edit - partly because I enjoy editing but, also because i really do lack confidence in myself.

The next post is about over-editing.

Anyway, it is great to see you back Nicky. I missed you.