Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Next Step in Drafting My Novel

Hi again,

I have completed drafting the character outline for my three main characters in my novel, tentatively titled The Rope, the Tire and the Tree. These are preliminary outlines that I will use as a guide and refer to as I flesh out the characters throughout the writing process. Some or all of the characteristics I've drafted may change throughout the process. That is natural, and even "healthy" as the characters become more three-dimensional. But the outline will serve as a guide in starting the process. As I stated in my earlier blog, I used a formula I found on drafted by a man named Jacob. I expanded Jacob's formula by writing my outline in a narrative style, rather than just Q&A. That helped me get a more three dimensional feel for the characters.

Additionally, I have included in this outline the pivotal moment of the characters' lives, or deaths in some cases, that are critical to the plot of the story.

The next step I will take in drafting my novel is to define the plot of the story. I will do that by drafting a "plot sentence." I have discussed the process of writing a plot sentence in an earlier blog titled, "Taking the Labor Out of Starting a Story." In that blog I suggest starting the process with drafting a plot sentence before outlining the characters, but it can work both ways. Sometimes we think of great characters first and want to write a story around them. Other times we think of the conflict or "plot" first and so we develop characters to bring that plot to life.

Although my earlier blog incoroporates other tools in beginning the writing process, I encourage you to review the section that outlines how to go about drafting a plot sentence.

Goodbye for now. I will return when I reach the next stage of drafting my novel. Until then, happy writing!