November 16, 2010. The day I began the revision outline for the novel that is becoming Sparks. By the very next week I knew that while an outline is a must, it doesn’t give me the level of detail that I need. So I added a storyboard to my revision artifacts, and was still confident that I would complete them all and be set up for revision by the end of the year. But December 31, 2010 flew by…
Of course it did – I hadn’t considered the holidays. Surely I would be done by the end of January. Missed that date too…
Now the end of February is here – and because I removed one chapter, but added three – there are still four chapters of outlining and storyboarding to go.
No tantrum this time; no acting out; not even a small rant. I’ve embraced the reality that experienced writers already live in. It takes time to deliver a story so sumptuous that it tempts ravenous readers to try to devour it in one sitting. Such a story is not to be confused with one so shallow, that readers flip through it in a sitting; nibbling only at the ‘good’ parts. My particular novel has to aim to be of the sumptuous variety; and has to pay off with cognac and dark chocolate truffle cake for dessert. Otherwise it will be merely a confusing collage of disconnected passages – a failure of mine, not of the story.
You’ll know from other posts that I’m a first timer, and I’ve complicated things for myself by having multiple plot lines (each with multiple subplots), multiple POVs, a prologue and a rather large cast of characters. But that’s the story as told to me by the main characters, so I’m honor bound to write it. The only open question is whether I will write it well.
When I’ve completed the outline and storyboard, I’ll have the skeleton of the revised story as well as writing (or editing) prompts for each of the over two hundred scenes. Since I’ve also marked up the original manuscript with storyboard scene numbers and rewrite goals, I easily see how different the revised version of the story is going to be. For complexmnovels, storyboards rock!
Even so, the closer I get to completing the storyboard, the longer it is taking. I’m being careful to insure that the main plots and their subplots are fully resolved and that the story ends with the characters exactly where readers want them to be. How do I know where that is? I don’t. The best I can do is make an informed guess – based on my knowledge of the story – and hope I get it right. Or…does a Ouija board work for fictional people?
#ROW80 update, 02/27/2011:
- Goal 1: I can’t believe it – I finished the revision outline for the last four chapters! It was a marathon Friday/Saturday night. But…I still need to storyboard them. That may take a couple of weeks.
- Goal 2: I’ve accepted that 3 hours on Tuesday is not going to happen and that Thursday will also be a short day. I make up for it on the other days. This week, I still averaged about 3 hours per night because of Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
- Goal 3 – Haven’t missed a post!
We’re just under a month away from the end of this session. Best of luck to all!