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Friday, January 15, 2010

AFDOC Week 2

Week 2 hasn't seen as much progress as I had hoped. I had to sidestep and take care of some business that couldn't wait, like meeting some contest deadlines and working on two books I'm critiqueing. But the good news is I did get back through all 41 chapters and broke them down into scenes and got all that onto stickie notes along with writing and cutting out all the chapter names and numbers so I can plot the book out visually. I used to teach flowcharting and team dynamics and found that flowcharting is a very handy tool for those of us who are visual in our thinking and learning.

In my journal, my list of "what I've learned" in this process so far has grown substantially as well. Here's a few examples of what I mean by that:
  • I need to spread out some of the info dumps over chapters to delete sluggish scenes and spread the wealth, so to speak.
  • I want to strengthen the inner dialogue of my protagonist who is 12 years old and has a mind of her own and a quick wit, but I want the reader to see more of her thought process to help understand how and why she is changing - it is a coming of age story after all.
  • I need to bring the tension and conflict into the story earlier.

Things like that; although, I won't bore you with the whole list. I also found several ideas for plotting and setting place during my fiction reading last week, and I want to incorporate some of those ideas as well. I know some people don't like to read similar stories while they're writing for fear it will influence them and they'll accidently copy another author, but my theory is to read and read and read some more {I did bring home 15 books from the library if you remember.} and if I see a good idea, try to figure out how something of a similar style might influence my story and if it would work for me - not copying but another way of bouncing ideas off of my brain like we do in our critique groups.

I didn't realize until this week how many end of January deadlines I had, so next week I'm going to try and get all my notes up on the wall where I'm wrapping a long roll of white paper around the walls. And I hope to start entering some of the basic changes from my critique pals - typos, verb changes, etc. into the ms.

Here's hoping you get something done on your writing projects as well.

Mahala

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