Method: Stream of Consciousness Plotting

I have officially completed episode two, which (if it were a TV show) would be the end of the two-part introduction. Episode two is longer than I wanted, but I think I am happy with the ending. I think it got the payoff it needed.

But now I am adrift, with many major milestones ahead and no idea how to get them. I have a map (which I am pretty proud of) so I have a literal roadmap; the question is, what happens on the way there.

This is a trick of mine that over the years I’ve ended up employing more and more, almost to the point that I consider it the first and roughest draft of anything I write. I sit down and write to myself. Just thinking about the problem doesn’t help me; it’s too easy to get distracted. So instead I write it as if I’m talking to myself, asking myself questions, answering them, exploring the different options, identifying problems and figuring out why it’s a problem, then what to do about it. Here’s a little example of what I was working out earlier today:

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Let it be resolved

Happy New Year to all!

I have a number of important things I’d like to happen in 2018. Most of them are writing related, of course, but I don’t mind including a few personal goals in there.

  1. Finishing The Red Book.
    • The cover art completed.
    • Audiobook priced. (Audiobooks are expensive to produce, so I may not be able to publish this with the text book.)
    • At least half of The Green Book complete as a buffer.
  2. Go to the gym six times a week. (I was really good about this until August or so, but I’ve been slacking.)
  3. Run for an hour six days a week.
  4. Post in this blog at least twice a week, and reblog at least once.
  5. Do yoga at least five days a week.

What are your resolutions?

Summarizing

First, I officially finished the (now) second-to-last scene of this episode, and am sitting proudly at 43,952 words. It actually took rewriting the entire previous scene to kick me back into gear, but I’m so glad I did. I was never happy with the point of view I’d selected for that scene, and it’s much better from Iolië’s point of view.

The next challenge was deciding how much to show and how much to summarize in the next scene. This is already going to be a long episode compared to the first one, and while I don’t want to adhere too rigidly to a word count, I also don’t want to leave any room for arguments about whether my readers are getting shortchanged compared to the previous episode. If one episode is 30k words compared to the previous episode’s 20k words, that is definitely a place I don’t want to be. I think 25k words is about as long as I want to get, and this episode is already at 23,863 words. Episode one was 18,245 words.

I am not going to contemplate that right now, this is about summarizing. Read More

Sample 1 Posted!

The first excerpt from the Fireward series has been posted, under The Red Book. Future excerpts from that book will be posted there as well; we have ten episodes to go before the Red Book is complete, and I am just finishing episode two. I’m not sure right now how many excerpts I intend to post; one scene per episode? Or a few selected scenes from the entire book? So many things to consider. In any case, it’s exciting to put it up for the world to see, and also hopefully gives me another kick in the pants to keep going with the story.

In other news, I am 40,421 words in, but it’s not because I only wrote 100 words this past week. I took some time to re-plot this last scene (it’s a very important one) and scrapped what I had before. It’s definitely not fantastic, but for Christmas week, I’ll take it.

Merry Christmas to All!

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men,
From heaven’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.

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