ScriBuJo 11 (En)

Version française ici.

We’ll start with writing, but I’ll stay a little longer with trackers. I admit, I forgot about this essential page.

We’ll start with writing, but I’ll stay a little longer with trackers. I admit, I forgot about this essential page.

The project tracking can be very different depending people. I cut down very much and I use many methods before starting to write.

Depending on your way to do it, it can be:

  • ideas
  • big lines of scenario (initial situation, inciting element, climax, resolution)
  • character sheet (light or expand, according to your preferences, the length of the story, the character’s importance, …)
  • cutting down (in chapters, in scenes, in parts or nothing at all)
  • writing
  • review
  • rewriting
  • proof-reading
  • sending to beta readers
  • finishing

If you cut it down, you’ll have a number more or less define of boxes to tick. If it’s not the case, you’ll have the step’s box, it’s not bad. Ticking boxes motivate me, it’s not the case for everyone.

For the novella I’m writing, I have 15 steps, the same as if I was writing a novel, but quicker.

  • Once I got some ideas of what I want to do and I let it macerate a few days (at least, some wait months or years… :p ), I use the 1 hour plot (Marg McAilster) then I set things in order with the minimal 6 steps of the Plot Planner (Martha Alderson).
  • Then I develop it into 9 steps with a method I found on Youtube, but I can’t put my finger on it. It was for my 2013 NaNo novel, so it’s a little bit old now. I develop into 21 steps with the same method.
  • Numbers are always the same until now, so I make the grids when I start this page for the first time. Then I complete along with the progression, or when I know how much scenes I’ll have.
  • I script with Dwight V. Swain method (I don’t remember the name but I’ll write a post on his book soon). This step allows me to check the links of causes and effects between the parts and condense or expand some. In the novella’s case, I got from 21 steps to 15 scenes.
  • I write beats (Monica Leonelle and Steve Scott), a very short summary of the scene were there only the essentials parts. Everything is told, it’s awful to read, but it allows me to have a more general view. It’s way easier to change totally a story that doesn’t work when it’s 4k words than 20.
  • I let it sleep for some weeks then I keep asking my husband for his opinion.
  • I add what’s missing, cut what’s too long. For the novella, I should go to 12 or 13 scenes, but I’m currently on it, so I don’t know for sure.
  • I check that every needed plot line is here where it’s needed (Stuart Horwitz) and I cut those that are not needed or slow too much the pace.
  • I finish the characters sheets (Martha Alderson and traits from Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi) and I copy a short version of it on my ScriBuJo. I keep the full version as digital in a synching application between PC, ios, browser and android. I’ll write about it later, as there were changes. I’ll continue to use it, but I’m not sure I’ll suggest it to other writers. As I’ll explain when we will be on the characters sheets (very soon!), I only check the short paper version when I’m writing, or else it can cut me from the flow and prevent me from writing for hours or days. And I don’t need to see the full motivation and background of a character when I’m writing. I’m supposed to check this before starting to write the scene.
  • Then I write the story. 😉
  • I let it rest for a month, so I can take it out of my mind and I can read it all as a reader. I might need it, as I might no longer want to work on it. As I always work on two things and the blog, it changes often. :p
  • I get my handsome checklist (Marg McAlister and Rayne Hall) with everything I need to have and I tend to forget. And the deadly sins of writing. I got back on every scene and change everything that needs to.
  • I read it again, in case it turns heavy, flourished, not natural or not dynamic at all, and I change what’s need to.
  • I take the orthographic and grammatical corrector because there’s no need to use it before as you don’t know what will stay and what will have to go.
  • Here, I take some rest (or not, as I always have two projects ongoing) and I wait for beta readers reviews.
  • Once I got some, (I rush on every one I get, but I wait to have some to start making changes) I change things that don’t make it and I have the last run of corrector to be sure.

You had a preview of a pantser method (at first) and a plotter one (mine). You can add or lighten steps, it’s up to you to adapt to your way of writing. The more you do before writing, the less you’ll have to change after, but if you over prepare, there will be no surprises and you’ll grow tired of your story. On the other hand, when you know where you’re going, you’re less subject to writer block (it won’t protect you against demotivation and others blocks, sorry, no miracles here).

It will be some works, but tomorrow, we really get into writing! I hope that since the beginning you made a little bit of story with at least one protagonist, we’ll need him or her.

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