Saturday, June 9, 2012

Author Blog Challenge - Day 7

Describe your outline process for your book. What do you do to stay organized?

My outline process consisted of three things: reading "The Anatomy of a Story" by John Truby, thinking about it during the week and going to my favorite Irish pub on a Tuesday to write my notes and outlines over a pint. Why Tuesday? That's the night they have live Irish musicians playing, the music provided inspiration and helped me think.

Anatomy of a Story, is geared more towards movies and screenplays, but the steps can be easily extrapolated for a fiction book. Chapter 2 had to do with the creation of the Premise, which had been something I had thought about for a long time, so it was easy. While I dutifully made my notes on the following chapters that had to do with Story Structure, Character, Moral Argument, Story World and Symbol Web; I rarely went back to look at those notes once I got going with the Plot.

Thanks to this book I avoided so many mistakes! For example, I was struggling to come up with professions for each character until I read that they should all be in the same story world, in my case, the wedding industry. If I didn't know this from the beginning it would have been so difficult to get my characters to meet and interact.

The chapters I spent more time on were #8 Plot and #9 Scene Weave. I'm a bit of a control freak and in order to be creative I need to know where the story is going in detail. So I hand wrote the outline chapter by chapter, noting what scenes should be in each chapter from beginning to end. Once I wrote the actual story I did deviate from my original outline but having the hand-written notes helped me to make the adjustments and keep control of my story.

The book consisted on three story-lines with three main characters in Part One converging in Part Two. Something similar to this would be "The Other Side of the Story" by Marian Keyes. I also grabbed inspiration from Pulp Fiction where Quentin Tarantino did the filming one story at a time and mashed them together in the editing process.

I finished the draft on two of the three story-lines following the same process and by the time I was getting ready for the third storyline I changed my mind and now want the story to be linear with the main character from storyline one. This draft needs major re-write!

As for the Irish Pub, since I went there so much I slowly started meeting other regulars and now I have so many friends to talk to that I can't get any writing done....ah well, it's still fun to go!

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