I am so excited. Today I leave for Atlanta with my writing friend. It’s about a four hour drive, and the BRAVES are playing this weekend, so we’re heading out early to beat the crowds and traffic. She should get here around 9AM, and then we’ll load up for our road trip.
Oh glorious day! Four hours with a writing friend where we can talk to our hearts’ contents about our passion without worrying about boring the listener. This is my favorite thing to do (well I DO have a few other favorite things–but that’s romance research LOL).
Here’s what I am bringing for the trip:
*my workshop homework
I had to print out four different parts of my current MS in Revision. Sounds easy, right? Not really. First I had to export the various scene info out of Scrivener and into WORD. Always a minor snafu when I do that–next time I meet my CP in Birmingham I will get a tutorial from her. Then I had to look at the stuff I wanted to bring with my own critical eye and redo it to the best of my ability. And I can tell you that rewriting stuff with the knowledge that Mary Buckham or Diana Love will critique it is, well, *gulp* very motivating.
But I managed to churn out a reasonable stash of homework pages. I have my 150 word opening, my approximate 100-150 word setting scene bit for deep POV analysis, my sagging middle scenes (help me please! I have to figure out if these even are the middle part!), and my scene to check for hooks in general. Most of the homework I am bringing is taken from the first 15 pages of the current WIP. Only the mid-section is not.
Before I could even determine what to bring for the mid-section, I had to finish my structure outline/label scene cards in order for the WIP. I worked solidly for 2 hours to wrap up that work. Then I analyzed the number of scenes, calculated the word count necessary for each story Act, and I approximated where the major plot points should fall.
You know what? I am pleased to say that I have a clear set up, a clear ending, solid dissecting plot points to break the 1st Act and 2nd Act as well as the 3rd Act from the 4th Act. Now only the MidPoint is nebulous, but it is within striking distance in the mid 40-44 scene range. I also have a pretty darned good idea about the PINCH POINTS (Larry Brooks Story Structure) in Acts 2 & 3. In working on the resolution/Act 4, I realized I had introduced new information, so I quickly marked it, changed it to reflect the way the Act was supposed to flow and voila, brainstorming occurred that would affect the rest of the book in a positive way.
The MAJOR issue I have is TONE. I’m still working on lightening the tone without losing the emotional elements I feel are necessary for my WIP to come to life.
Getting ready for this workshop deadline has helped me focus on my overall story structure. But I know that what I learn in this workshop MIGHT force me to reevaluate my PLOT. Or, if I am super lucky, the workshop will CONFIRM my plot’s direction and give me more fodder to support the structure. Or maybe it will lead to my realizing how to fix the mess regardless of the outcome/analysis.
Stay tuned! I’ll keep you posted about my writing adventures in Atlanta.
(PS–I see some of my fellow bloggers on blogspot have lovely links to other pages and the blogs look like web pages–any information about that would be greatly appreciated)