Monday 15th June 2020
This outline is a glorious mess.
I mean, there’s the framework of a decent in novel there, but dig into the detail and there’s missing character arcs, massive plot holes, and a load of boring scenes. That’s OK though. I can work with that.
Things like this used to stress me. I’d want it perfect from the outset – to know that A leads to B, leads to C. Now I have 3 intertwining story arcs, and I’m not sure if any of them are fully-fledged stories in their own right just yet.
But through loads of rewriting, taking something broken and fixing it isn’t quite so daunting.
First thing I did was to work out the theme. The way I handled this was to list out all the antagonists and ask what it was they wanted. From that I got two that wanted similar things and I was then able to list a couple of possibilities of the theme. As I tighten up the plot it’ll help zero it down.
Next was to take my existing corkboard view in Scrivener and start labelling each of the cards with with what antagonist subplot it relates to. Ideally, there should be similar numbers of cards for each subplot and they should be evenly spaced. They’re not.
So now, my job is to take each sub plot and flesh it out. This is going to take me over my 25-30 card soft limit for the novel. Again, this is OK. Once this is done for each subplot I’ll start trying to merge scenes and bring the number back down.
At this stage I’m very much trying to look at each subplot as a story in its own right. I’m trying to establish where the beginning and end are. Once I have them all, I’ll start trying to slot them together so that rather than A leading to B leading to C, something from plotarc A, leads to progress in plotarc B and so on.
I’m also trying to think of some great set piece action scenes. I want them to be fun and over the top. I don’t know where (or even, if) they fit into the novel so I’ve just put them in and not assigned them to a plot arc.
There’s still so much work to do, but this putting this plot together is a bit like a fun puzzle and gives me a chance to try a range of skills I’ve picked up in recent months. I suspect it’ll get worse before it gets better, but if I’m sure of one thing, I know it will get better.
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