Thursday, November 5, 2015

I'm So Bad At This Remembering Thing...

Yes, I took the time to watch "V for Vendetta" today.
Personally, I'd be content with remembering what day of the week it is...

I haven't had a moment to stop all week. Between Halloween, and football, and work, and cleaning, and the Daylight Savings Time switch; it's chaos. I mean, you KNOW I haven't had a moment of down time when I haven't been on Facebook in the last five days! Which also means I haven't really had a moment to write. Sadly, this results - as many long-term readers may have guessed - in me being a moody crank all week.

Seriously, it's like when an athlete can't exercise. I get angry easier, I get mildly depressed, I start tearing up at the drop of the hat, I get sluggishly sleepy, and I get lethargic when I do have an hour or two of down time; now too stressed to focus enough on writing anything.

So, I am sorry, folks, I neglected to work on that "co-author" assignment YET AGAIN. I WILL get to it, I promise you. Perhaps if I have a day off again when I'm not volleying between frantic cleaning of my apartment and raging about how I just want to blow it up and forget about the mess.

On the plus side, Ronoxym finally continued Please, Let Me Explain; so to speak.

I'll hand it to James Patterson, those outlines really do wonders. I went through everything we hand so far, all 27 pages of it, and wrote down an outline. That way Ron didn't have to wade through so much in order to refresh his memory and jump start his muse. Unexpectedly, since the story is so long, and I wanted to include every main action so far so we can watch for redundancy or parts that don't belong, the outline was still 9 pages. I went over the outline to create an even broader one, just the main bullet actions, that's it. However, add in questions like "What is the point of this scene?" and "What feeling(s) should the reader get?" to each scene - of which there ends up being 16 of them - adds a few pages. The "broad" outline - which was meant to be a brief overview of the story - clocks in at TEN pages after Ron kept going. Whoops. Either way, it's important stuff.

Especially those two questions. Something else I learned from the MasterClass lessons. Each scene should have a set purpose. That purpose can drive the characters or plot forward, but it has to do at least ONE of those two options. Then, make sure everything - EVERYTHING - in that scene falls into that pre-established purpose. Next, figure out the feeling of the scene. What are the characters conveying and/or what should the reader feel. Make sure every action portrays that feeling.

You're pretty set if you follow those two guidelines.

Anyway, so the outline was done and sent to Ron. It kept him a day or two, but he went OFF with it. Sparks started up again; gears turning wildly. After an "emotionally exhausting" writing session, Ron finished off as much of the plot - via the broad outline - as he could. The last bit relies on how Willow reacts to a "grand reveal" and he wasn't really sure where to go with that. Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out the result myself. I see it going horribly, horribly awry.

It kept me a couple days - again, I've been non-stop - to get to read the outline. I have to admit, while I was excited for Ron writing again, and I enjoyed what he came up with, it wasn't as strong as his opening. Probably because he hasn't been with the project for a year or two, whereas I feel like I've been living with it daily for that long.

Also, the real reason the newest part doesn't seem "strong" is because it doesn't push the story forward. So, I blame it on my improved knowledge of story writing. Don't get me wrong, like I said, the plot is good. It just feels like it belongs in a companion story or an anthology of some sort. When I read that Ron write Willow huffing to Devon that he needs to get to the point already, I almost snorted. She's so me! I was honestly thinking the same thing: what's the point? Why does this belong to this story? If WILLOW thinks this, why wouldn't the reader? And if RON wrote it in the outline, I think at least a part of him feels the same way.

So, I'll help him work on what he originally wrote at some point, but right now we're reworking so the back end of this story actually stays on track. We'll see how that goes.

I really wish there were more writing-related news to report; this post feels so short, and after being so late to boot! However, as I mentioned, there really wasn't a lot of time for me to do much of anything.

I'm really REALLY hoping to do better this upcoming week. We'll see how it goes. Especially since I have the next writer's group meeting on Tuesday. So, I REALLY need to kick my butt into gear and write at least ONE of the two concepts I had for my writing prompt.

Good news! That means I'll have SOMETHING for you guys to read next week. Possibly a start to a new anthology; a place for all of my writing prompts to sit together. Yay.

Alright, I got to jet. Catch you next week, and hopefully on time!

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