Sunday, August 8, 2010

Writing Progress - August 8, 2010

Well, here we are on Sunday night again and I'm ready to share my progress.

This week I read through my entire WIP and made notes. After I was finished with that, I went through each scene and made a beat sheet kind of like the one Terisa Green made. Seeing a snapshot of my novel really helped. I wanted to put a picture up of what mine looked like, because I added some extra columns, but I couldn't figure out how to blur out the text in the description column.

I added columns for "Timeline" - where I'd note whenever a character mentioned it was a specific day or time of day, "Stakes" - so I could make sure each scene is important to the novel as a whole, and "Information" - where I noted any information a character provided that needs to stay consistent (e.g. birthdays, street names, class periods).

Here's a summary of what I found:

  1. My novel has 77 scenes. That seems sort of high, but they are all relatively short. I'm considering beefing up some of the essential scenes to include some more story development so that I can cut some others.
  2. There is a love triangle, but the scenes between the two characters are a bit unbalanced - one has 24 and one has 34.
  3. Two of my characters had similar nicknames. I didn't think it was a big deal because they didn't have a lot of scenes together, but after analyzing, I saw they had a quite a few and decided a name change is in order for the more minor character.
  4. Two of my subplots didn't have a very solid resolution, so I need to work on that.
  5. A few scenes have no stakes whatsoever, so I think they need to be deleted.

Overall, I think this is a great start to figuring out what to add/take out. I'm also toying with the idea of moving around some of my opening scenes so the story starts with more action and it's much easier to move one line in a spreadsheet to see how it flows.

If you haven't done this for your novel yet, I highly suggest it.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips! I tried the index card thing but it was too much paperwork for me. I like things on the computer because I can move them around, add and delete, without crossing things out and so forth. I'm going to try this!