I’ve been writing on and off for close to eight years.
Does it sound like a long time to you?
It does to me. But, really, it hasn’t been.
In that time I’ve written about ten or so shorts, won a few awards for some, had a few published, wrote for an award-winning magazine for some time. I’ve also drafted two novels, of which I’m editing one right now.
Is it an accomplishment? Depends how you look at it. Some days, I think, wow, I did all that, while having three babies, and never ever having more than a few hours a week to write, and taking a whole year of hiatus more than once. But other days, I think: eight years! Really! That’s it???
As you can most likely tell from my recent post I’ve been in the second place lately more than the first.
One of the difficulties I’m having is getting a grip on structure. I thought I had a tight handle on it: I have my three acts firm in hand. My set-up, my catalyst, my in-limbo time when we wait for the MC to make her decision to act, launching her into act two where we follow her journey, through her false high at midpoint, and into the resolution of act three.
My problem now lies in scene structure, and in making sure each element is in place within each scene.
This morning I’ve drafted a checklist for my self:
- Scene setting
- Scene goal stated
- Scene structure (beginning, middle, end)
- Is it clear how I want my character to appear in this scene and does the dialogue, action, monologue reflect this (ie. Weak, strong, frustrated, alert)
- Emotional arc
- Delivery of info in proper order
- Conflict and stakes apparent
- Check for order of stimulus : response (something that I get backwards often–weird!!!!)
- Resolution and new situation at end of scene (unless is moving into scene sequel)