One of the problems I am finding with this current project is the pacing. Whether it’s the flow of the words or the flow of the plot. Right now I am suffering from the latter which in turn is affecting the former. I wrote the ‘skeleton draft’ in one shot. By ‘skeleton’ I meant it is simply all of the main points I want told. Now I’m going back and beefing bits up; however, it all feels so scattered. You have to find the tools to see your story on a bigger scale. I will briefly write a few things that have helped me with both of these issues.
When it comes to the flow of words I use one simple trick: I take what I have written and read it out loud. You read slower when you verbalize versus reading it in your head. This also helps with when writing dialogue: does it feel natural in your mouth when you say the words? This may not work for everyone, it definitely helps me.
When it comes to the flow in plot I found index cards to be essential. But I will take this one step further. I found an awesome computer program that allows for index cards but these cards are digitally connected. The program is called Scrivener. I found it while checking out author Veronica Roth’s blog. Here’s an image of what I’m working on:
As you can see, I have index cards discussing plot points I’m hitting for a particular “chapter.” But if you see on the left hand side the title of the index cards have been blurred. It’s there that the actual written portion is. I can change the order of these “index cards” and it moves the written portions for me 😀 But this way I am able to see my work as a whole. It’s almost God-like, having this bird’s eye view of the entire story.
I highly recommend Scrivener. They at least give you a thirty day free trial and if you like it you only have to whip up about $40. Here is the link to the site:
So one of my dear friends from High School (and inspiration for the character of Hotara) is going through Volocio. She has an English degree and studied publishing laws. She’s awesome and I’m ever appreciative of her feedback. She’s been sending me several e-mails over the last few days with positive reviews….but then again, she has admitted to being an unbiased reader. 😛
This lead me to remember how Hotara came to be where she is as a character:
When I first started to write Volocio (which was called So It Begins at the time), I originally had all thirteen Volocio die and be reborn. Imagine that. Thirteen characters, each with their own plot lines. Yeah, I couldn’t do it. When it came down to the re-write, I had to make an awful decision: cut characters.
I couldn’t do it. I loved those characters, but I didn’t know what to do with them. Then I came to the decision that I didn’t have to cut them, just change their roles. Hotara is no different. I’m not gonna say what she was before…or what her role is now, but she will play a bigger part in the story to come. I’m glad that I made her Rei’s mother. You may not know her now, but trust me. She. Is. Awesome. 🙂