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Crack that WIP

Day three and I’ve already started over with Blind Fury. It’s okay because I’d only written 1600 words, and I’m up to 1800 new ones now, but still. I realized early on that the GMC I had before wasn’t working, and neither was the setting. Sometimes it can take me a while to admit that the cool opening scene, or the interesting career, just isn’t the best choice for the story.

I probably started writing before I was really ready. But, on the other hand, the act of writing helps me find my weaknesses, and gets me thinking ahead.

One of the reasons I struggle with pre-planning may actually tie back to my logical, linear brain–as illogical as that may sound. Let me explain.

What I’ve noticed is that I write very linearly: first this, then that, like a chain. That is, I write a scene, and then decide what the next scene should be, based on what just happened. The creative juices required to come up with the next scene require the platform of the previous one to jump from.

Does that make sense?

So, until I’ve really fleshed out a whole scene, complete with unexpected twists and revelations that came about in the heat of writing, I can’t write the next one. So how could I possibly plan via a thorough outline ahead of time?

No, I’m not abandoning the pre-planning phase. If anything, I’ve realized that I have to test my characters’ GMC more carefully. Not only do they need strong, story-worthy goals, motivation, and conflict, but ideally, the hero and heroines goals with conflict with each other.

This is why writing romance is tricky, especially romantic suspense. Not only must the villain’s goals conflict with the H/H, but the H/H’s goals must be at odds with each other. Otherwise there’s nothing to write about.

Yes, all of you smart people knew that already. In theory, so did I. Still, I often get an interesting concept stuck in my head, try to populate it with characters, and then realize the GMC’s just not strong or interesting enough.

At least this time I didn’t start over after writing 20,000 words. Hopefully, I can avoid that again. I made sure that Blind Fury has at least a tentative outline including the inciting incidents for H/H, 1st turning point, midpoint shift, 2nd turning point, black moment, climax, resolution.

If I get to those points and they’re wrong, I’ll fix them. But for now, I’ve got a compelling reason to take the drive, and a few destinations along the way to guide me.

Now to get crackin’ on that WIP…

0 Comments

  1. Christine

    Reply

    Now I am intrigued about your next RS. I plot linearly, then go in and hack around till I get it right. A few bazillion times. I was flying by the seat of my pants at the end of this third plot revision, laying in nuances and not worrying about where they might fall LATER. on. Sometimes what I expect will be the middle or the beginning is very different after I’ve reworked it all.

    Have fun!

  2. Reply

    Yep. It makes sense. Especially sense I do it.

    GMC’s have one problem that once over come will make them great tools. Since they are blanks to fill in, and straight forward questions to answer, it has the feel of straight from the head filling in the blanks… filling out a form.

    I don’t know about you but when I fill out a form I already know the answers. I don’t make up the answers to go in the blanks. Filling out a form and story telling are two different things.

    All that to say this. If we can allow ourselves the same freedom/ free association/ suggestion/ energy/ spontaneity in the use of the GMC as we do with a blank page I bet it will work better.

    I’m thinking making the forms bigger than one sheet of paper might help. Anything that removes the sense/feel of a static container. In fact, that is why Scrivener works. It looks like a static rigid container but it isn’t.

    For the record. I’ve been envious of few writers. Like, say none….UNTIL …. Janet Evanovich!

    I’m just pure jealous of her writing. PURE JEALOUS. So, there. I’ve said it.

    • Reply

      I agree that GMC might be easier if we make it more right brain. I tend to jot down lists of ideas on paper until I get something I’m happy with. *Then* I go back and fill in the form as a record of what I came up with.

      I’m with you on Janet Evanovich. How does she write such great mysteries with serious topics loaded with so much humor? Absolutely love her! Yep, and a bit jealous, too. =)

      • Reply

        I think it is her characters. They are characters that you feel like you know or have known. There is not a single one that is a blur. Even Tank who bascially says nothing and is all description. If he walked up your side walk you would recognize him. I think if her characters were exploring a cook book it would be a good read.

  3. Reply

    Love the title of the post, btw!

    I think sometimes we have to write to discover whether something works or not. Something that sounds good in outline might not be juicy enough to sustain a full novel once we actually try to write it. I say good for you for figuring it out so quickly!

    • Reply

      Thanks, Kathleen. We’ll see if it’s really “figured out” or not, but I’m definitely on a better track. I’m going to have to take a break to do revisions on my last one here pretty soon, but it’s good to have a story in the works.

  4. Reply

    Curtis: I think you’re right about Evanovich’s characters. Suzanne Brockmann is the same way, but more serious. I can’t put her books down either because the characters are so real, they’re like my own friends.

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