Reconstruction May 24, 2010Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
Tags: characterisation, creative writing, Matt Farmer, Matthew Farmer, mentor, novel, writer, writing inspiration
Following on from my previous entry – Deconstruction, what am I doing with all the feedback?
With regards to the structure of the book and how a lot of the first story arc is not irrelevant, I have purchased some small speech cards. I have written each scene onto the cards. Nothing too descriptive, just something to jog my memory. I know the ins and outs of the story, do I decided I don’t need big descriptions of the scenes and what i want them to achieve. Not yet.
I am going to lay them out on the floor so I can physically see my book. I Would love to have a white board or a pin board to do this, but lack of space prevents this. So I am commandeering the floor! Jason suggested a good starting place for the story, so I will look at that, see if I agree or not, and remove the rest of the story cards which don’t fit.
I am going to keep them, however, as they are important to the back story. If I find an oppurtunity to slip in some back story, I will have the needed scene card to use.
Once I have cut down the number of scenes I will then look at the scenes. I will look at where the reader comes in, and where they exit. What does the reader get from this scene? How does it advance the story? What happened to the character in this scene? I am also going to research a bit more. I know there is more work to be done at this stage, I just have never done this type of exercise before, so it will be a good learning exercise for me.
In regards to character? Jason suggested looking at The Hero’s Journey, a theory I am aware of. I have read The Hero with a Thousand Faces a couple of times. I find it fascinating and inspiring. For some reason I didn’t really apply such basic knowledge and ideas to my work. Or, perhaps I thought I was, but it wasn’t until someone pointed out the lack of character development that I realised I hadn’t. Hard to tell.
So, I have now used the Hero’s Journey diagram to plot out the big events in my story and have numbered them. For each number I am putting in notes about the characters involved, my 3 MCs – Jarred, Martin and Cindy. Such a simple idea and it has provided fertile ground for my imagination to work with the characters again.
I imagined things Jarred would need to do to grow as a leader, to take the decision-making process away from Martin and put it on Jarred. I worked on events which would break Cindy out of her frightened shell to re-take her power.
And for Martin, the suggestion that he would be great as an antagonist made me work on his story some more, give it more sinister ideas and allusions. His involvement in the whole campaign has become deeper and more involved. Which I like quite a bit.
The final major piece of feedback to work out is the motivation. Why does this story happen at all? Why does the Company attack its own? And this is the biggest problem I am facing. I have a few suggestions, a few ideas, but nothing which is making my jaw drop in astonishment.
I am torn between a few ideas. Political, corporate take over, secrets, revenge. This is something which I will put in the slow cooker to simmer for a while.
Again, thanks to Jason for the work he did for me. Totally awesome.