Friday, January 27, 2006

Tar Pits

Pre-outlining. I’ve been a little bit stuck, you maybe noticed if you’ve read much here lately.

I posed a question over at Artful Writer, wondering what particular story chunks other writers need in hand or mind before they’re ready to outline (or write, as in the case of those brave and/or brilliant souls who can get there without foreplay).

Problem was, I had plenty of chunks, but it still wasn’t happening. (Guess what– outlines don’t write themselves. There were a few mornings I woke up, checked the computer and was surprised to find this out.)

A friend suggested a stream of consciousness exercise to help determine which of my story ideas would spark me most. That helped. I ended up combining two of them, which fleshed out the whole deal in my mind a lot more.

A lot more.

‘Cause suddenly I can feel the world of my story hovering just outside the realm of the world I live in. It’s 3-D and I can sense the sounds and colors and life over there. It exists and I made it.

Too ethereal for you? It’s kind of like sensing the neighbors in the apartment next to yours. You haven’t been inside, but you have a vague idea of what their pad looks like and who they are.

So, it looks like I’ve pulled myself up onto the bank of the tar pit, but I’m not out of danger, yet. There’s a T-Rex breathing hot on the back of my neck, goes by the name of “Laziness.”

And if I don’t watch out, he’s gonna bite me on the ass.


Blogger mstarr said...

Oh, for crap's sake, just write already!

7:49 PM  
Blogger Dave Olden said...



PS. Your blog does so count as writing, but again: ditto what Mchael said.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Wamba said...

I think the hardest part of getting something written is forcing myself to be inspired. Sometimes I have to trick myself into it, which is kind of like playing hide-and-go-seek alone.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm doing my first script outline at the moment. I started with the premise, sketched out the main characters, established some basic themes/ideas that I wanted to explore in the story, and then just wrote the plot out in prose form. It's going to end up being about 14 pages. There were some scenes that I knew I wanted in there somewhere and mapping out the story structure made it pretty easy to figure out exactly where they fit. This has taken me less than a month all told. I anticipate I could probably get the first draft of the script done in about the same time (now that it's been "framed").

5:29 PM  
Blogger Jodi Davis said...

So.... this is where the she devil disappeared to!

5:18 PM  
Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Put your paper away, sit down and tell your story. It doesn't matter to whom you tell it. Just sit down and tell it in fairy tale fashion to the nearest small dog, muppet or bouganvilla bush. It'll come to you . . . so I've heard . . .

1:04 PM  
Anonymous cwmagee said...

Can you place the bits you have in approximate order, and then see what is missing?

That won't necessarily tell you what to put in the hole, but at least you know what the problem is...


6:45 AM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Hi Chuck!

Actually, the story is coming together in my mind quite nicely, now, thanks. :)

The issue when I posted this was I had bits and pieces of a few different movies floating around in my head and wasn't sure whether they were meant to work together or not. Turns out, most of them were.

Also, I've been reading Blake Snyder's SAVE THE CAT, which really helps highlight structure problems. It's a fun read, too.

10:21 AM  

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