Sunday, 20 July 2014

I Need a Hero!

I've finished the index cards for Sequence 1 of Act 1 - for anyone who's interested, I'm writing my scenes following the screenwriting/film Sequence model. I'll put some links to more information at the end of the post. Sequence 1 ended with the Inciting Incident - about half way through Act 1.

I'm still using Susan Dennard's revision process and working through the first draft index cards. I've identified the major turning points/story milestones on the existing cards and it's easier to see the gaps and missing story elements here instead of trawling through pages of typing.

I've also made myself some storyboards for each sequence and used some small post its to do something I learned from Jim Denney's "Writing in Overdrive" - brainstorming and clustering. This technique alone from that ebook has helped me develop the index cards for Sequence 1 and it was so much fun!

I wrote out all the elements I wanted to include - what had to happen, potential locations, props, characters involved - and then 'clustered' which means I put post its together with other post its if they felt like a good fit. It was great fun, painless, it felt quick (that's because it was so much fun!) and productive. My kind of writing exercise! :) A big thank you to Jim Denney for introducting me to this technique.

So now I'm at Sequence 2 and I hit a wall. Because this is where I introduce my love interest. And he's been a shadowy creature all along. I had stuff figured out for him, backstory etc., but it never felt right and he was planned just enough to give me my first draft. But now, for the revision, I need to know more. I need some concrete details and I need them to bring him to life. No more shadows, thank you.

What I do know, now that I've finished the first draft, is his role in the story, and how exactly he helps my heroine to deal with her flaw and wound. Two things I needed to write my first draft first to figure out. Now it's time to breathe some life into him as a character in his own right. That's my next step in the revision process.

Susan Dennard had an interesting post (, and it was a huge relief to find that I'm not the only one who uses a stand-in for the first draft until the details of what's required for the hero to be and do are known.

While all this has been going on in the background, I've been spray painting t-shirts that got stained (small children will tend to do that to clothes!), making over a jewellery holder (I'll post pics when it's finished), and I finished my sponsor post for ROW80. Phew!

And, as promised, here are some links to sequences:

Here is a link to a very helpful scene writing post and template by Caroline Norrington:

ROW80 goals update for the coming week:
  1. Make inroads into developing a living, breathing love interest;
  2. Finish at least 1 of the flash fiction I started;
  3. Check in with my ROW80 team.
Have you any advice on how and when you finalise the details for your hero/heroine/love interest?

And please visit some of the other ROW80 writers. :)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Over the Starting Line, Round 3

Image by Paul Brennan courtesy of

What I've achieved since last blogging

  • Wrote and sold an article on Fast Drafting which is due to appear in the October edition of Vision for Writers, just in time for NaNo 2014;
  • Created my story's Magic System - the purpose of a Magic System is to serve the story, so creating it once the first draft is written is probably not such a bad idea. Having created the system, I now have some further ideas for scenes and ways to avoid Talking Heads;
  • Mindmapped the Theme of my story and uncovered several more elements to include in the novel, including a secondary character, and also deeper layers to lay down.

Goals for Round 3

  • Finalise all the scene index cards my story is going to need for the second draft;
  • Finish the four flash fiction that I started in Round 2;
  • Set a date in Round 3 to undertake the short story writing challenge in Jim Denney's "Writing in Overdrive";
  • Write and finish 6 more flash fiction;
  • Create an anthology with the 10 flash fiction, ready to indie-publish;
  • Support my team of ROW80 bloggers once a week, most likely every Sunday.
I'd like to get my blog for time-challenged writers up and running and post to it once a week (in addition to posting here for ROW80) but this is a bonus goal - whatever I manage to get done, I'll be happy with!

And please support the other blogs in the ROW80 challenge. :)