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#121 of 129 Old 03-24-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post
I've written the first chapter (all first drafts) and now I'm all over the place with it. My big thing is what happens in between the main events. I'm starting to feel like I've never read a novel in my life.
I totally relate to you when you said you feel like you've never read a novel before.

Thats how I feel! As though I've no point of reference to follow as I try to put words together.

When I do NaNoWriMo (national novel writing months 50K word challenge), it's always a huge help. They encourage you to write, write, write without your internal editor. I mean, no editing, no re-reading, just hardcore cranking out of words. It's pretty crazy.

But it does help- you start to see where your story has to go, and you get a lot of practice. So, I guess my advice to you (as though I'm some sort of expert? I'm not...not in the least) is to just go for it right now and put down as much as you can even if it's not pretty. That can all be done later. (and THATS the part I'm can't help you with, since, I can't seem to get that part right myself)
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#122 of 129 Old 03-25-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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Okay, I'm back but working on a different first novel. I can't wait to hear back from grant money, so I started another idea in the meantime. I'm working on what was originally going to be another short story collection. It is going to be from 3rd person limited perspective, but alternating between 2 married characters. I've never written a novel before and am finding it weird. Harder to cross over from short story than I thought. I've written the first chapter (all first drafts) and now I'm all over the place with it. My big thing is what happens in between the main events. I'm starting to feel like I've never read a novel in my life. I chose Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye to read while writing. Any suggestions, or is this normal at the start of a project?
What I would suggest you do in this case is: Write down all your main scenes, and then go back and work out how to connect them logically. There's a fairly good chance that, once you've got your big scenes laid out in order, you'll better be able to tell how to get from one to another. It's the difference between going on a trip with a map and without. You may know where you're going in the end, but until you sit down with a map & plot out the points 'twixt here & there, you'll never know which roads to take.

ETA: Don't be afraid to rearrange your scenes. If you're writing your first draft on a computer, either have a different file for each large scene, or do a hard page break in between scenes, that way you can move them around easier. One author whose how-to book I read suggested having a different file folder--in her case, she meant actual, real folders--for each chapter. I myself have my outline jotted down on notecards (a la Holly Lisle's method) and I have had to rearrange them a few times already, & I'm still within the first 10 cards. (I'm hand-writing. Slowly.)

Sabra: Mama to Bobbie (3/02), Linda (1/04), Esther (10/05), Marie (11/10), & Douglas (11/12)

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#123 of 129 Old 03-25-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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What kind of shape are your story elements in?

Hook? Do you think you have a good one?
Plot? Can you easily summarize what is going on in your story, and where it's going? Are there events that clearly lead to the climax and resolution?
Conflict? What is the whole point? What do the characters have to overcome?
Climax? Do you have one in mind, when and how will your story explode?
Resolution? Do you have a satisfactory ending in mind or on paper?
Characters? Do they have their own unseen history? What motivates them throughout the story? How do they change by the end?

Tell me how it's going for you... :

For me it's as follows...

Hook? I believe I do have a good one! :
Plot? This is definitely not a plotless novel. My characters are physically moving from point A to point B with encounters and happenings in between. I don't have everything outlined, and I can sense some things missing in my chapter by chapter map. I'm working on it.
Conflict? Yep. I have a main one and a smaller one. Defined and needing resolutions. Yay! Although, smaller one needs a bit more polishing at the moment.
Climax? I don't have one yet, just a general idea, but unfortunately no specifics. I hope it will come to me when I'm ready?..
Resolution? I know how the main conflict will be resolved, as well as the smaller one, I just don't know what will bring me to this resolution.
Characters? I have some of the backstory for each one. I know how they are going to change. I'm working through motivation and details. I don't want my characters coming off as "perfect", so I'm working out some flaws at the moment. I feel I still need to work here. :

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#124 of 129 Old 03-25-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Very cool- I'll take a stab at this:

Hook?Gosh I hope so. You've pretty much all read the very beginning. I plan to tweak a bit, but I think I'm in the right direction.

Plot? Well, yes...I think I do now. There is a definite unfolding of knowledge leading up to the climax. But I may have to sharpen a bit still.

Conflict? The conflict is ALWAYS my problem in every stroy I've ever written, but I think this is the first story where I've recognized what it is and why its there.

Climax? I have a few options. The first draft has a fairly weak climax, I hope to work on it for the second draft.

Resolution? I love the ending. I know the ending- I have no problem with the ending. It's that darn middle...

Characters? Ok, this I feel I have nailed! I love my Main Character, I love my love interest, and I love the other guy, who is sort of my antagonist. I have actually written about 5,000 words from the Love interests point of view- that helped me so much to get into his head and voice him. This is one part I feel really good about.
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#125 of 129 Old 03-25-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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Hook - not sure... I have the first chapter, but it is very rough

Plot - yes, mostly aside from the missing parts Married life makes a good plot.

Conflict - yes, I'm excited about writing it

Climax - I've written it already and I'm wondering if it might be some of the better writing I've done

Resolution - I have no idea how this will end

Characters - I love my characters and have since I wrote them for a short story in my collection. I think they are strong and I like writing characters I've written before.

Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

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#126 of 129 Old 03-26-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Hook? Don't think so. Not sure I can be objective enough, but I have a feeling the 1st 1/3 of the book will need major revisions to take out wishy-washy parts I thought were clever when I began.

Plot? This part is strong, if a little soap-opera-ish.

Conflict? Plenty for the two MCs, need to work on the female sidekick's issues, she is boring like me.

Climax? Another strong area, although the resolution is unclear; I'm not sure how the characters will handle the climax.

Resolution? Nope. But that's gonna be the fun part!

Characters? When I revise, I will make more of the MCs' history invisible. I had originally wanted to give them a happy ending, but at this point they'll be lucky if they are better off than at the beginning.

That was fun.

Jenny, reading & writing mama of dd(18), ds(6), and ds(3)
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#127 of 129 Old 03-26-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Hook? Yes, but not in the first sentence. The first page is interesting, but the real "hook" turns up on page 4 or so. I need to figure out how to move it forward.

Plot? Yes. I even wrote a 150-word synopsis so I think I'm ok.

Conflict? Tons!

Climax? In chapter 28. I think it needs to be expanded, though, because it's really very short and some parts of the climactic action are not explained well enough.

Resolution? Mostly satisfactory. It needs more refining.

Characters? This is where my story is strongest, I think. The book is really ALL ABOUT how the protagonist changes as a result of the story. The plot was really designed to drive the protagonist's change.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#128 of 129 Old 03-26-2009, 03:22 PM
 
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Hook? Yes! it's all about empowerment, baby

Plot? Yes! I think I over plotted it and will be taking some things out, but what will be left will be a kick a** solid plot

Conflict? MC has tons of it and thinks she has too much until she realizes EVERYONE has conflict in the story. It's her story, but everyone's drama is there too

Climax? I love to climax so I have a big one and two smaller ones. They could stand on their own, but they haven't anything to do with the MC. One of the smaller ones is the hook for the sequel

Resolution? Sorta, kinda...I hate books that just fizzle out and come together all of a sudden after everything that has happened...I can almost see it, but what I have so far sucks

Characters? My characters rock! I love them and that's why there's a sequel. I just can't let them go yet What motivates them? A need to do something, someone (ha ha) and move on with their lives in a positive way. MC learns that she is finally in control and loves life again

this was fun!
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#129 of 129 Old 03-28-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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So, I think I got a plan. Thanks for the suggestions Sagesgirl. I'm handwriting the first draft as usual. It helps make editing a bit quicker and revising for me, plus I share a computer with DH who also works from home. So, I'm writing all the major events first, the parts that move the plot forward, and then I'm writing all around those. I'm finding that I'll write a part toward the end and then jump to a part in the beginning. Right now, the end is the strongest area. I hope this works out.

Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

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