In the journey towards publication, economy and clarity are the satnav and the roadmap. Without both you will be wandering in the wilderness, I don't know about you, but I don't have forty years to spare.
That is my dramatic concept, all the rest is the tarmacadam that levels the perilous road to writing success:
- Dramatic Concept
This is the place to start the journey of 30,000 to 130,000 words. Can you sum up your idea in a few sentences? Once you can, it is the time to start.
This can be as detailed as you need it to be. Create a framework. Know your start and the end. The planning isn’t set in concrete; feel free to modify it as you go along.
Limit the number of brains you expect your reader to enter. Like Buffy, in Earshot, following everyone’s thoughts can drive a person crazy. Decide whose point of view you are going to use in a particular scene and stick with it.
Writer Beware! Do people really talk that way? Stilted conversations – especially ones that dump information, from a distance – should be rewritten. Read the dialogue aloud. Make sure it sounds real.
Every story needs conflict: internal or external tension is what makes people turn the pages in the first place.
Your novel should read like a map of the Himalayas. Claw your way up to a critical peak, then push your character over the edge.
- Show it (then you can tell us why)
Neve was too tired to stand?
Sickly resin glued her cheek to the tree. Tinny ringing filled her head. She encouraged it. Let it swell until it was the only sound she heard. The forest faded to milky-white in the grim dawn. Neve’s legs tremored. Her knees unlocked and she shattered.
I've been trapped into a loop of family and DIY projects, then Neve turned up; she is my one writerly achievement of the holiday. The idea is adult fiction. A rare thing: a dream idea - what a cliché ;)
HOW MUCH WRITING HAVE YOU MANAGED THIS HOLIDAY? ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO TERM TIME TOO? :)