Jun 25, 2010

Wannabe Writers #22

Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published and anyone is welcome to join. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click (here) to find more about how it works.

Where I am in the writing process: Still un-published.  I've written one novel.  After finishing it I decided to rewrite it completely.  And after almost finishing it for a second time, I've started rewriting it for a third.  I think this third rewrite might be the one.  Although, my brain is already trying to tell me how I would write it if I ever started on number 4.

My current problem(s):  This past week I struggled so much with how to write chapter 9 of my book.  I rewrote it like 3 times and still none the versions worked exactly right.  I did finally write a version last night that I think I like (I think; I hope I don't end up changing it again.)  So, today I was wondering what made this chapter much more difficult than the first easy 8 before it.  I think that was because this chapter was the first big crisis in my novel.  Up until this point, everything has been slowly building and then as chapter 8 ends things go into crisis mode.  I had to get this chapter right.  Because this chapter--depending on what was said/how it ended--will determine the rest of my book's outcome.  Like a pivot point. 
So, how was I finally able to come to a conclusion on how to work it yesterday?  I had to ask myself a very simple question.  What is (let's call him Character X)...What is Character X's motivation in this scene?  (Character X is not my main character but a very important secondary one.)  Why has Character X suddenly shown up in this scene, sending things into disarray?  Once I figured out this/got inside this character's head...the chapter sort of just fell into place.  Finally!

This week's question:  When writing how do you structure out your novel?  Do you use the classic method of intro, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, mini crisis, rising tension, climax, resolution?  Or some kind of alternative structure?

9 comments:

Sarah said...

Hi guys. Sorry I'm posting this early this week. I'm going to be out of town this weekend, so I figured doing it a day early was better than not at all. I'm leaving for Mexico next Saturday so it's likely that I will do the same thing next week.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That's pretty much the structure I use. I also outline first so there's less rewriting required later on. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but I haven't had to rewrite the book at least. :)

Enjoy your trip!

Witless Exposition said...

That's typically what I aim for. I used something called the Blake Snyder Beat Sheet for Script Frenzy this year (sorry, misplaced the link) and it helped me out a lot. I think unless you already have a foot in the door or have an AMAZING novel, it's really hard to get an alternative structure novel published. Plus, I think it would probably be a lot harder to write. But, this is also coming from someone that hasn't written a whole novel yet!

J. L. Jackson said...

Hey Sarah! Glad you posted early because I am going out of town as well. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

I have a feeling I will be re-writing the book as I edit as well. We are a lot alike in that area.

Jeff King said...

I am re-writing my book as I edit as well.
I hope to be done in 40 days.
thx

Shalena @ Writer Quirk said...

Structure is probably one of the hardest parts about writing for me. I don't outline (fiction) well, either, so I'm always looking for tools/methods to help the process along.

Sarah said...

Witless Exposition---ah. I was trying to comment on your post on your site and blogger is being annoying. You asked how do you get started when you first what to begin your novel? And Maggie has the perfect answer to the question. This actually motivated me is in so many ways. http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com/120688.html Check it out.

madeleinerex.com said...

Great question, per usual. :D

"I'd say that it's crucial to evaluate what sort of story you want to tell. Judge wisely whether or not that story requires a strict whipping into shape or a laxed, laid-back attitude. Which would make the writing more fun for you? Remember: You have to enjoy this sometimes, too!" (From my post)

InABox said...

I'm glad you got your chapter figured out!

As for structure, it appears that I am a traditionalist, although I (embarrassingly) hadn't really thought about it before.