18 February 2011

week 2 goals met.

I'm still plugging away at the story, which is good, but what is even better is that I was able to get this week's goals accomplished! Woo!

The PoV, or point of view, is very important when writing a story. I began writing this one in the first person, then I realized that I was getting waaay hung up on detail and emotion. So I switched to 3rd person narrative and that wasn't working because I was having trouble getting intimate with any one character. So, I ended up going back to the first person, but I'm trying very hard not to get too involved in the mundane. It is a very exaggerated story and the best way to respond to that is to be there, I think. So, first person wins out. However if I get hung up again, I can always try third person, limited- in which the narrator follows just one person (i.e. Harry Potter). It's good and that is the only other option I can see telling this tale if first person doesn't work out. So i haven't limited myself just yet, but i also need to make sure I don't get half way through and realize that I need to describe scenes that my character isn't present for. Which brings me to the outline.

When I develop an outline, I try to look at it as linear as possible at first. Your story should have progression, obviously from beginning to end, so I like to map out these points first. You usually know what you want the end of the story to be and anywhere you start is the beginning. Then you bridge the gap. Write down any and all plot points your character encounters along the way (or anything you want to have happen), keep it simple and try to keep it relatively broad. Then go over that list and write down a few things you want to have happen or that need to happen in that area. 

For example:

Say you want to write a story about a kid who, after building his science project, gets tangled up in an interstellar hunting party. You could start with something as simple as this:

Wake up
Walk to school
Get abducted, etc...

Then, expanding on it, it could look like this:

Wake up.
    wake up late via call from best friend
    can't find science project
    argue with little brother
Walk to school.
    meet friend- discuss lost project
    "maybe it's for the best- the guy who sold you the plans online seemed odd"
    notice that there are no grown ups around
Get abducted
    think they see something in the park
    discover space ship half hidden in the sandbox
    aliens trap them and thank him for making their secret weapon

...and on and on it goes. i can't stress this enough, simple, simple simple. Save the detail for the story. And you don't necessarily need to write phrases and words. As you can see above, I wrote dialogue to remind which direction I'm going. Just be sure to use things that remind you to keep moving the story forward.

Monday, I'll set week 3's goals and, as previously mentioned, I'll talk on picking a genre.

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