Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Forays In Fiction: Mapping Crystal's Story

This shows my attempt to use the spreadsheet concept to map out the elements already existing and those anticipated in the latest WIP I got into a muddle with, Home Is Where the Horror Is, aka Crystal's story. The rows are scenes as in the example I saw on Joely's blog but I created columns according to the needs of my WIP as I saw it. There are more items/threads I want to map so I'll be adding more columns. But even with the bare minimum of who, what (happened) and where I learned a lot about what was and wasn't working and got some glimmers of how to proceed.

Just for a lark, I added the Hero's Journey as described in Volger's The Writer's Journey in one column just to see if I saw any correlation at all. And there are some startling ones. Like the way Father's object lesson in the swimming pool scene falls into the Ordeal slot on the Hero's Journey. Of course the stages of the Hero's Journey could comprise multiple scenes so that is more accident than anything.

You see the HJ stages doubled up because there are actually two stories interwoven into one. The NOW strand that begins with 15 year old Crystal waking in the strange motel room and the THEN strand that begins a year earlier before Crystal left home.
These are meant to alternate throughout even though I wrote and posted them last spring with several NOW scenes followed by several THEN scenes followed by several more NOW scenes. The three scenes with asterisks next to their numbers are yet to be written. These two missing scenes in the THEN strand were one of the things preventing me from proceeding in the story, because each introduces a new character and a major motivating factor re Crystal's leaving home.

Another thing holding me back, I believe, was the fact that this muddle was made in a single file with the scenes still in the order I'd written them even thought that wasn't the order I meant them to have. Not even a separate file really but more like a single note card in the WhizFolder File that contains Faye's story. I placed it there because Crystal is one of Faye's strays and I thought her story was going to be short as in under 5K and possibly be inserted as an interregnum into the novel that is primarily in Faye's POV. One of the tasks I accomplished today was to create separate topics in the Whiz file for each scene and anticipated scene and copy/paste the written scenes into their own topic windows. This allows me to move the scenes around and insert or delete them as needed without having to wade through several thousand words each time.

None of this is written in stone. I'm treating it playfully for now. But I'm pleased with the insights I garnered from the exercise.

2 tell me a story:

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