Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How I Found My Plot

I made a "breakthrough" this weekend in my latest YA novel effort. All the ideas were there, floating around in a cerebral stew, but I couldn't quite nail it. I couldn't quite get them all to cooperate and gel into something plot-like.

I'm a little ashamed to say I found my lost organization in this book:


Book in a Month has some major flaws--the most salient being it is set up like a screenwriting course. Is that what every modern author is supposed to aspire to be, a screenwriter? Almost every example in the book is related to popular movies, and I found that a little vexing. But--because of this book, I began to think of my book as a series of related scenes, each leading to the next and each with a purpose. A lightbulb clicked on.

I scribbled like mad, and now I have thirty odd scenes and lots of other tiny bits and I wish I could write faster.

Oh, and I'm calling this book Borrowed Saints. Thoughts?

17 comments:

Cate Gardner said...

A series of related scenes... Strokes hairless chin. Interesting. I guess this is similar to the folk who write their notes on cards and then shuffle them into order. Strokes chin again.

Aaron Polson said...

Ha! I need subplots (or so says the agent who rejected me twice and suggested I come back for a third beating). The scene method has realy helped me sort out said subplots for some reason. We shall see.

K.Hinny said...

Aaron,

Borrowed Saints is a great title. And good luck with your story. I hear chugging vast amounts of Redbull does the "write faster" trick, I however have never tried it, so I can not speak from expeirence. Only urban legends of writers past.

katey said...

Every writing book I've seen has been kind of a grab bag-- full of really good ideas and then some that just make me go, "meh." But man, when it's good, it's brilliant.

The title's a winner, for sure.

Brendan P. Myers said...

Love the title! Seems like anything with "saints" in it does well. And "American (Something)."

Gonna write an "American Something" one day myself just so I can glom on to it.

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks, Hinny. Too much go juice gives me serious headaches, so I'm afraid the redbull trick is out.

Katey - I feel pretty stupid needing such a "duh" book, but organization isn't always my strength. It was a reminder of what I should have already known, more than anything.

Brendan - thanks. "American Saints" as a title might just blow up the planet.

onipar... said...

I like the title, and cograts on getting the scenes moving along. I haven't read any how to type books in a while. I think my last was On Writing.

Brendan said...

Hilarious, Aaron. Got a tingle up my leg just reading it!

Mary Rajotte said...

Now I, too, feel stupid for needing such a "duh" book :)

Seriously, though - it was about the organization for me, too. It has some great questions to think on and anything that can spark ideas is fine by me!

Natalie L. Sin said...

I brainstorm in the "literary" sense about half the time. The other half, I arrange dialogue and action in my head like I'm watching a movie. You know how it goes: sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't ; )

Jamie Eyberg said...

Viewed through a movie is how many readers, especially young readers, will read a book. Makes sense to me anyway.

Aaron Polson said...

Anthony - How to write books always say pretty much the same thing, just organize it differently.

Brendan - Maybe we can co-author.

Mary - It was your Examiner articles which led me. It's a good book, but I do tire of all the movie refs. Where's the book examples of how to write a book?

Natalie - At least writers have earned their nuts.

Jamie - So true. I just don't want a screenplay in book form.

adnane rehane said...
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Danielle Ferries said...

I love it when a plan comes together. The title is cool too.

Aaron Polson said...

Man, talk about opening yourself up for spam. I won't be purchasing a copy of NewNovelist 2.0, thanks. ppppppbt

Danielle - Thanks!

K.C. Shaw said...

I love the title! The organization idea sounds interesting, hmm. I may have to hit the library to see if that approach might work for me. Trying new ways of approaching writing is always good!

Mary Rajotte said...

"First Draft" offers many book examples (everything from Lord of the Rings, to The Secret Life of Bees and The Lovely Bones) if you're up for checking out another How To book :) The structure/worksheets are similar, though.