In August, I had the good fortune to attend a workshop by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love based on their great book, Break Into Fiction (hereafter called BIF). I read the book beforehand, and went through the workshop thinking how great all of the templates are because they force you to answer the tough questions about your characters and plot. But, still, I struggled with filling them out. They get into details I wasn't ready to produce yet.
I had an “Aha!” moment yesterday when I realized that filling out the GMC charts for my characters provided me the macro view of their lives and story that I needed to have in order to complete the micro-focused BIF templates. By completing the GMC work first, I can make sure I'm not spending my time on the BIF templates until I'm fairly sure my story will work.
So, after moving 20K words (ouch!) into my Unused Scenes folder (a topic for another day), I'm pretty much starting over. But, this time I'm going to try it with the help of the GMC and BIF tools. The great news is that I'm pumped up about my story again. My goal is to have a completed rough draft by January 31. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.
Chalk it all up to lessons learned and, like Dory says in Finding Nemo, “Just keep moving.”
BTW, if you ever have a chance to take a class from Mary or Dianna, you won't be disappointed. Both of them are incredibly giving of their time and insights, and will answer endless questions with patience.