If you need to refer back to any abbreviations or other info from Part 1, you can find that here.
So I have my high level Global Story Grid filled out. Next up is taking a blank sheet of paper and starting some more scribbles. I ballpark it out with numbers 1 through 60 to put in a guesstimate for 60 chapters. I then start marking percentage points of where certain things should fall. This isn’t in stone (Obviously! It’s paper in pencil!) so I have wiggle room. If the first plot point hits a little earlier or later than the 25% mark, it’s not the end of the world. These are just rough mile markers so I don’t get lost in case my brain hits a fever pitch of thoughts for plot events.
This is quite an intimidating piece of paper. I mean, the sucker is BLANK. So I start jotting things down where I THINK they will fall until I get some little blurb on each line. This is another one of those things that gets dragged around with me for weeks as I jot things down. Some parts are easier than others to fill out. Sometimes I know what will trigger the lull or second plot point to then set off the climax around 75%. Sometimes I know the ending and/or the beginning, and I have to sort out the middle parts. But ultimately, no writing on the laptop is taking place yet. This was a direct recommendation from AH that I reluctantly followed initially then later saw the huge benefits of it.
So if you’re using Joel’s 12 sentences model, this is the same thing except Joel’s has far fewer lines. I just draft things out with 60 sentence fragments.
A new thing I did on the most recent story was an attempt to organize some seriously scattered thoughts that I couldn’t track on my paper because I couldn’t “see” who was where. I had my characters split up and needed to keep track of who was where and doing what until I brought them all back together again. To remedy this I bought a pack of sticky notes and borrowed my brother’s dining room wall while I was visiting him. I had a field day of scribblies and sticking and moving things around.
Each row is for a particular character and represents what is actively going on or perhaps happening behind the scenes while other crap is happening face up in the story. Thankfully the painting on the wall didn’t mind me working around it, and even better, I didn’t knock it off the wall.
As I moved these stickies around I got a much better idea of what needed to happen and where in the story. So I did more scribbles (and erasures) on the paper with the chapter numbers to finish filling that out. The giant chunks of blank space become less intimidating as each line is filled in. I’ll sit on this for a few days, letting it marinate in the brain pan in case something changes with a new idea or whatever.
I know the images are blurred, and that is on purpose since this is for a book not yet written that is the follow up to Forgotten Echoes. No spoilers!
Part 3 to come.