Sunday, 3 June 2018

Planning, plotting and a new writing streak

I've spent the last week planning a story. Not writing or drafting or anything like that. Just planning. For a whole week.

Yup, this is me. Except that I plan in Word. Otherwise, it's like looking in a mirror.

A week?? Why so long?

I took an old story that was a bit of a mess and wondered if I could revise it. I stripped the whole thing down and wrote a list of the major plot points, then started over.

At first I started considering other story ideas - effectively planning a whole new story - but I quickly realised that was not what I wanted to do; I wanted to fix the story I already had, not create something completely new.

I went back to the basic skeleton and spent days identifying the key points. Then I looked for the obvious gaps and built it up, only to have it all collapse. Then I started over again... and again... and again. Each time it got closer to something that made sense.

I finished this morning. The result is a 2,000 word outline of 32 balanced story beats in 4 acts (I split Act II into 2A & 2B, if that makes sense). The result isn't too different from the original story at all, but mechanically, ie how the pieces fit together and the story flows, it's a LOT better.

So tomorrow, I'm going to start writing the thing. I can use elements of the old script, but that often causes more problems that not, so I'm going to avoid cut and past and write the whole thing fresh.
With an estimated word count of 30,000 words, and an average of 3000 per day, it should take me ten days to bang out a first draft. Although, in practice, things often go differently.

Note: I don't know whether or not this is a project I'll actually submit or do anything with. I write all of the time, especially between projects. Picking up an old project is a good way to keep the engine ticking over. Fun too.

I'll blog each day to keep track of how it goes.

Colin M

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