Friday, October 30, 2009

Research #2, Study / Prepare

This week was mostly about reading. The Foster-Harris book taught how to develop a character and create conflicts or tasks. Thankfully, I was also able to order his book about developing plots. Can't wait until it arrives! This new-to-me, very old book will be the guideline for outlining my story.

The lead character is ready to jump into an outline. The only real debate is who are the other main characters in the story? I keep flip-flopping, so probably the best thing to do is to try a few different ways and see what "sticks."

Tomorrow's task will be to type up some writings from my notebook. Maybe some other fun surprises will also appear? I have no idea what's in store for me as I begin to write! My usual penmanship is non-fiction, technical writing. Quite humorless.

It is now very late at night. Quietly, I slip off to slumber. Peacefully, I sleep, and dreamingly, I journey to unknown destinations.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Research #1

Dental surgery / pain has put a temporary end to my creativity this week. I chose, instead to do some research on structure, to help me identify a starting point for my book. The books I'm looking at are "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "Sphere," and "The Da V. C-de (title modified so not searchable)." Each book provides a different perspective on mystery & suspense. I'm particularly watching how exposition and pacing are accomplished.

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is written in 3rd-person omniscient without a single direct statement by any character throughout the entire tale. That in itself is spooky!

"Sphere" is written entirely in first-person, and we see the thoughts, feelings, and memories of the main character. Sometimes the memories take more time for the character to remember than could possibly have been available during the course of the current action. I'll have to watch out for that. This story also involves a group of people put into the mysterious circumstance. I like that.

"The Da V. C-de" is written in varying first-person perspectives, each with their own memories and drives. Also, a lot of "teaching" or "lecturing" is done in this book. The Scienctific explanations, while useful for understanding, weigh heavily on the reader and slow the action of the story. Also, jumping back and forth among different characters' plot-lines would be confusing for a newbie to write.

Maybe if there were just two main characters' plotlines, with a small group of supporting characters for each? The prologue could be 3rd-person omniscient and the rest of the book in 1st-person (varying). Sounds like a plan!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chapter 1 - Where am I?

This week, the nature of my lead character oozed onto the pages of my notebook. She's not a saint, by any means. This, according to my guidebook, makes her more human, more believable, more real. Her first adventure at the beginning of the book is beginning to take shape. The story opens with a mystery...."Where am I?"

Last week's task on character naming and backstory also continues. Somehow, I think the backstory will come from the nature of the lead character, and not the other way around. Sort of convenient history creation. (Where has this been done before?)

Additional challenges include cleaning up the hard drive and operating system of an old laptop, so that I have somewhere to create and organize the sections that I write, as well as revise, rewrite, and edit to make words come alive. Lazily, I put off writing until the very end of my day. Perhaps as I move further into the story, I will find more motivation to write?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

First Post

Writing a book stretches all senses, expands all thoughts, and causes much lost sleep. This is the story behind my story. Because the only writing I do is business-related, I quickly learned that I needed some help. A book titled, "The Basic Formulas of Fiction," written by Foster-Harris in 1944 guides my creative efforts.

Topics include:
1. What a Story Is
2. Viewpoint: Space and Time
3. On Character
4. The Parts and the Process
5. The Finishing Touches

So far, the title revealed itself (secret for now), the main character appeared in a dream in February 2009 along with key items in the plot, and the backstory emerged over the past several months. This week's challenges included the difficult task of character naming. Alas! Characters may take on other names as the story progresses, but at least it is a starting point. Another great challenge is the backstory. What happens before the curtain opens? Time to go find out.....