Sunday, March 23, 2014

The organized mess

During the process of writing Risking Exposure, I learned two things about my writing style. First, if I outline too much, my characters rebel once I start to write. But if I don't create some structure for the book, it meanders like a ship without a compass.
I don't want to go through either scenario again.

I've started researching, organizing, and writing the sequel to Risking Exposure. For weeks, I've had a basic outline in my head. I've documented many ideas into the voice recorder that's always in my dashboard cubby. (I drive a lot.) I've read books and websites and taken notes. I've plunged ahead and written a couple scenes, one of which may become the opening scene. Now the time has come to create something more concrete.

So I spent yesterday organizing my basic plot points at the dining room table. Crazy, but this is my organized plot. The long paper is a timeline on which I jotted notes about historically significant events in late 1938 that will provide a backdrop to the story. The other piles are research materials on a historical figure and a 'way out' for the climax that will make sense in the story.

I also used a story map, and I sketched out one for my main character yesterday. Today's task is to create a voice journal for her, a longer and more detailed one than I had for the first novel. In coming days/weeks, I plan to sketch out story maps and create voice journals for the other main characters as well. This will (hopefully) help me keep track of who they are, what each wants, and how those personalities and wants conflict and intersect during all three acts of the book.

In the meantime, I have to move all this organization aside so we have a place to eat. 

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