The bone structure of a novel … for me.
I woke up feeling slightly rudderless this morning. This happens pretty reliably when I’m not deep in a story, when I’m just scratching around the edges of an idea but I haven’t found the hook into the plot. If I entertain it, this feeling can easily lead to fretting over the time it takes me to bring a novel to market, and then being daunted by the sheer amount of words between me and a completed first draft.
So I usually beat it back by blaring music through headphones – a specific playlist for each novel – and digging into character bios and building settings.
Fast forward six hours later, and I’ve written twelve hundred words of the final confrontation and know exactly were the novel is going … as well as the twists that get the characters there.
I love that.
This cracks Oracle 2 wide open for me. I’ll play around with the guts for a couple more days, sorting through scenes, turning points, and putting everything in its place. Then I get to dig deep into the first draft, inciting incident to the denouement.
I thought you might find it interesting to see what a story looks like to me in this stage, so I snapped a picture of my paradigm before I filled out too many spoilers. Please ignore the spelling errors.
This paradigm – or skeleton – of the plot is heavily influenced by Syd Field‘s structure of a screenplay, which I used to follow rather religiously when I wrote the first draft of a screenplay and saw no reason to drop when I transitioned to novels. I add my own bits, most likely cribbed from other sources, such as Save the Cat! and the like, but really it’s just an amalgamation of how story functions for me.
This will be a novel in approx. 70K more words.
One word, sentence, and paragraph at a time.
A breath, a look, and a sigh.
A kiss, a touch, and a smile.
The brave, family, and blood. Always blood and tears. Courage and fear.
Rochelle and Beau, beyond the skeleton of an idea and the smear of a pen.
Rochelle and Beau, beyond luck.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.