Saturday, August 07, 2010

Progress with Planning

Just a quick update on the planning work for my new WIP. This past week I reviewed prior Snowflake planning notes and tweaked the characters' perspectives based on how they've developed in my thoughts over time. I also tightened the parameters (number of POV characters, word count), completed a preliminary scene list for the entire novel using the Marshall Plan, and have done "Stage 1" basic scene descriptions for the first half plus the ending. I have about 20 scenes in the later second act left to map out, then I'll have to step back and take a look at the whole thing before continuing to the next stage.

This marks the first time that I've actually followed the Marshall Plan as-is throughout the entire novel. I usually do my own thing based on the Marshall Plan, but with more POV characters and with a less-than-true order to the scenes. This time I wanted to stay within the limits of the Plan and see how it turns out. I like it!

It's amazing how tightly the story is now plotted. I saw opportunities to consolidate scenes, handling more than one item of business in the same scene. I also was much more aware of the impact of POV, and that's certainly a good thing. Plotting this tightly is hugely beneficial. I can always add a scene or two here or there later on if I feel it is needed. I know the story well and know I can't represent everything in the novel. Some of it is too peripheral, even if it is interesting in its own right. I'm keeping it focused and the extraneous clearly stands out.

I'll complete the basic scene descriptions in the next day or two, then during the coming week I'll go back over them and write the "Stage 2" descriptions, 30+ pages featuring a paragraph or two for each scene summarizing the gist and including any tidbits of dialog that I know already, certain key lines that must be said at certain key points. Hopefully by the end of this coming week the slightly-more-detailed scene descriptions will be complete, and then I'll take time to rehash, review and polish the plan yet again.

Feels good to see such concrete progress!


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