Revision on the brain.

So, I had my first live Revision class for Storywonk yesterday – it was the second class in the course, but I joined late because of the Polaris craziness and caught up on that class with the on-demand replay, which isn’t as fun as being in chat live and getting to answer questions.

But I’ve got all kinds of things running through my head with all the stuff that Lucy’s covered in class so far, and other things that I’m just thinking of because of tangents. I think I’ve got a good idea for the opening scene, but it’s going to be a big rewrite – partly because, as Lucy points out, the opening scene has a lot that it needs to do.

But I’m also starting to think about ‘the trouble’ from the bad guy’s point of view. My antagonist is really resourceful and clever, and when he decides to take a Princess prisoner, he’s not going to do it by sending armed soldiers into the festival. I think I’ve managed to come up with a much more clever scheme that does him justice, involving poisoning and food vans. Now I just need to figure out how to tell it from the POV of my protagonist, and let her stand up for herself just a little but still end up in the really hot water.

I’ve also got a new beat breakdown up on my corkboard – this one is for my current draft of ‘The Long Way Home’:

Each card is a scene, with the sequence of scenes in the book going ‘Summer Glau style‘ back and forth from the top left down to the bottom left. Some types of scenes are color coded:

  • Yellow – ‘anchor scene’ candidates, as per Lucy’s structure
  • Pink – key scenes for Ereyu the ferret
  • Green – scenes involving my antagonist, Merlik, or where his influence is felt.
  • Blue – flashbacks.

So, I guess I’ll leave it at that for now, except to ask – if you’re not doing revision, then what have you been up to for July?

7 Responses to Revision on the brain.

  1. avatar139 says:

    Glad to finally see a pic of the infamous corkboard!

    I’ll have to try that for future story planning; as you know that’s always been my biggest barrier in writing longer works as I’m able to write various “scenes” in a story but the transition and arranging the ordering between them is always a problem so something more visual in the form of a chart like you do may help my writing “flow” better! 😉


  2. Lydia K says:

    I like how organized you are! My notes are a jumble. At least I keep them in a binder…


  3. Donna Hole says:

    Have you thought of writing the scenes that involve her from her POV, as if she were the “protagonist”, and then going back and rewriting the protagonist POV of the same situation(s), so that you can justify both character motivations?

    Does that sound too complicated? You know the protag has to win, but that doesn’t mean you can’t garner reader sympathy points for the antag. All you really have to do to separate the two is add a sympathetic skill for the protag that the antag cannot understand, and thus cannot acquire; and add a fatal flaw to the antag that shows her to be unreasonable/insane.

    Anyway, I think it’s great that you are taking all these classes and learning new things about your writing. I’ve been thinking about taking an advanced writers course from Writer’s Digest myself. No matter how much I learn about writing, I know there is always one more thing I can learn.



    • First, just to make it clear, the antagonist is a ‘he’ – and though a lot of what you’ve said makes sense, I think that the nature of my story does dictate that the antagonist will be a shadowy figure of mystery for most of the book, so the protagonist will not be seeing much of him until the final climax, and a lot of what I write from his POV will not carry over much to the protagonist’s POV.

      That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea to go through the process, on a ‘discovery’ basis as much as anything, to make sure that my antagonist’s choices and plans add up. I also have sympathy for my antagonist’s motivations, he’s really an anti-hero more than a true villain, and there’s something noble about his plan – his flaw, more than anything, is that he doesn’t care so much about the body count if he gets his cause vindicated.

      Thanks for commenting!


  4. Tanya Reimer says:

    I love this photo! It brings back memories. When I was drafting my series it looked something like this only it was post-it notes covering a wall. And in comes my St Bernard… in one swoop of her tail, my entire plot, weeks of work, was in a jumble again! Now I use MICROSOFT OFFICE ONENOTE to build my twisted plots. Safer. lol.

    Thrilling to see it all laid out like that isn’t it? Have fun.


  5. Mike says:

    You do a lot of work in your writing process. It boggles my mind.


  6. Lauri says:

    I love the color coding. I may copy that.


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