Posted tagged ‘plot’

This Writing Endeavour

December 31, 2008

The year has reached its end and I sit with a finished first draft on my desk that I hadn’t even considered this time 365 days ago. It’s a good feeling. I have printed it out to read through in the new year, making whatever notes and adjustments I deem necessary before letting it out into the “wild” and sharing it for feedback from others. If you’d like to be one of those others, drop me a line or leave a comment here and I’ll add you to the list. My aim is to have it ready by the end of January at the latest.

The story stands on its own quite well, but as I went along it became clear that it was only the first part of this character’s journey. I can envisage this first book as the start of a trilogy, which may well lead to other places – I can think of at least two other stories beyond that point. There are links to some of those in this first story – hopefully some will come to fruition in future books, depending on how this one is received.

The third part of the trilogy is a direct follow-up to the first story, but the second is still fairly open to explore the main character’s new-found ability, possibly even being a collection of short stories set throughout this universe. I’m not entirely sure how it will all fit together and may even need to complete planning on the third book before starting the second. Or….

The Writing Endeavor(sic) is a less stressful offshoot from the NaNos I’ve been involved in over these last two months. The aim is to come out after a year with a range of writing experience working to various different types of target. It starts on the 1st of January, with a 11,111 word count target on a piece of new fiction. I have three possible ideas bubbling away that I could use.

  1. Short story about the ‘Benefits of Hindsight’ main character – this may end up being the basis for either the second book OR simply one short story within the book
  2. Short story about a ‘Benefits of Hindsight’ supporting character – either the MC’s wife, his neighbour (the unexpected mentor character that I mentioned a while ago) or another character – that would be included as part of the book 2 collection
  3. Stand alone short fairy story aimed at children, but with an adult perspective

I have set these choices up as a poll – vote for the one you’d like me to go for!
[UPDATE: Poll now closed – thanks for filling it in!]

All the best to you heading for the new year – 2009.

NaNo Update

November 20, 2008
NaNoWriMo Participant

My wordcount is now over 34k (probably around 37k according to the official count) and I’ve just passed what I think is probably my biggest plot hurdle.  Writing a funeral as seen through the eyes of somebody who has lost his true love turned out to be a quickly-flowing, but quite harrowing process.  The whole thing just about wrote itself, but I found myself coming across some unexpected emotions in there that were even more powerful than the sense of loss.

The difficulty I knew would come in following on from the funeral, just as it is difficult to adjust to life after your world has been turned upside-down, how do you write about the slow process of the main character coming to terms with the new status quo without boring the reader?  I’ve now had him take those first faltering, and in his case, alcohol-filled, steps which let the second act of the novel begin.

The next chapter has to deal with a span of three years before the story picks up, so I’m expecting it to be another tricky one to write, with the lead role effectively spending years in an alcoholic haze before the catalyst strikes to set him back on the road to redemption.

Writing has begun

November 6, 2008
NaNoWriMo mug Logo

I didn’t manage to hit the word count target today, let alone catch up with the days I’ve missed, but I did spend some time working on the key characters. Mainly their attributes and background history, but also some consideration of their timelines through the story. I will have to go into more detail with these in the next day or two, because it’s going to start getting complicated fairly soon and I don’t want to worry about losing my way as well as not meeting word counts or writing a boring story.

I’ve started writing the first two chapters simultaneously, mainly because they have a repeated structure. The first showing the normal routine of the main character, introduces the main players and sets the scene, whilst the second shows the start of the changes that trigger the main plot. In both cases the first scene describes the journey from rural Scotland to the centre of London that is made by the lead whilst the second relates the phone conversation between him and his wife at the end of the day. The key differences between the two chapters will serve as clues to what is happening.