Happy Monday! Okay, I’m totally trying to fool myself here. That Man and I are both working today but the monsters are out of school, which complicates things significantly. Add to that the fact that Littlest Monster set her alarm (note: she does NOT do this for school days….) and got up at 6:00 AM…. Grrrr! That’s earlier than they get up for school! Needless to say, it’s going to be a long day.
Since I completed Revision Xibalba last week (cheers, definitely GOOD NEWS!), I’ve been trying to get back into 3Aliens. First up was a read through of everything I have so far (about 15K I think) to see where I went wrong. Because when the story isn’t quite sparking, there’s usually something wrong. This premise is too cool not to be working.
Bad news: the very first opening scene falls short. So naturally everything that comes after suffers a little from that lack.
Fixing it hasn’t proven as easy as I hoped though. My original premise – the idea that sparked the entire story – was a line: “Three aliens walked into a bar, and all hell broke loose.” So of course the first scene was at a bar.
However, I couldn’t get that bar scene to work the way I wanted, not as the FIRST scene. I kept falling into cliche territory in trying to set up the characters and story. I couldn’t get the tone right and I was having a hard time establishing the story goal (although the immediate goal was there) and theme. Thinking of Blake Snyder’s beats, I couldn’t find a way to mirror the opening scene from a bar into the ending, which I already have in my mind.
Which leads to the crux of the problem: I was writing from the original spark… the premise…not a plot. Which is a totally fine way to write and has worked for me before, but in this case, with breaks to work on other projects… it just wasn’t working for me. I kept losing the vision.
I have to SEE the story to write it. It rises in my mind like a 3-D map, full of rises and falls, dark moments, and final victory. I don’t always have to see the entire story at once. Sometimes I can fumble around in the dark until I find the next illuminated path, but when I’m short on time (and sleep!) and busy with multiple projects, I just can’t dedicate that much mental harddrive to holding a story in my mind. There are huge gaps where I’ve overwritten the story with other things. Gee, don’t even get me started on the memory leaks…
So although I’m tight on time and I might not be able to meet the deadline as a result, I decided to STOP. Right here. And plot this story the way it deserves.
Since I’m using Scrivener now and trying to get a working process down in new software, naturally that means I need a plotting template that works for me in this new tool. I really wish I could use Larissa Ione’s romance template, but she says it won’t work in the Windows version of Scrivener. *pouts*
So that’s my plan for the next day or two. Get my plotting template all set up. Complete the plot for 3Aliens (working title). And figure out what needs to happen to take what I’ve already written and make it work.
Cue Tim Gunn’s voice. “Make it work, people!”
What’s your good news for this week?