Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ah-ha moments

...I was reading a book (because RD is off-line and I couldn't think enough to write)(and I really am addicted like Jen says) (and thanks Kaige--I'd been thinking of you) called Screenwriting the Sequence Approach, not that it's any good. Fact is, it's pretty boring and I've been throwing it at the wall for weeks. But I did find a really good nugget (after all that pedantic prose, there'd better be something worth my while)about structure.

Guilamo says that the first act should be how the hero goes about getting to his goal in the easiest way possible, and I thought about that and a light clicked on and I went..."oooohhhh." Then I went back and re-read some of his analyses, and said, "damn, he's right." In among all the other stuff, and other tools, and under structure--the string should be like a series of knots, with each knot getting progressively bigger. Little knot. Easy way. Bigger knot in the middle, complications and more string and maybe a little grease. HUGE knot towards the end, all tangled up with superglue.

I knew about the other knots, but never thought maybe there was a little one at the beginning that HAD to be there for the others to exist.

The first act should be how your hero tries to do things the easy way. And of course that lead to me rethinking my opening sequence. And the underlying drive, and lots of other things which lead to a really long night with lots of green AMP (green AMP is cool because when you pour it in a glass with ice it glows like radioactive waste.) But I got to wondering what Connor really wanted out of life. I told Cowboy he was trying to escape DalCon and Cowboy stared with that, "huh?" look. But now that Keegan is happy, Connor is the odd man out. It's that whole fitting in thing, when everyone is changing around you and that place in your head is like quicksand.

I need to drop it back to where Tris and Connor are talking in that warehouse back in Hilo. Because if Tris offers Connor what he really wants, and Connor goes for it, it sets up the rest of the book when he doesn't get what he wants because it's not easy. Only now he's trapped and can't leave Jacey. I love romances.

Human nature, the easy way--doink.


Kaige said...

That is a nice little nugget! Thanks for stopping by. I've managed to get a bit further this morning. It's not the story that I'm currently fighting. Son's home sick again and my own focus is hard to sustain.

I love when you explain stuff, Jodi... the thing with the strings and the progressively bigger knots was a great way to phrase it. Everything comes with strings attached and they usually lead to knots. *nodnod*

Glad something clicked for you! Happy writing/revising!

Alice Audrey said...

I knew about that first knot, but somehow having you talk about it made the whole line of knots look different to me. It makes me want to revise everything I've ever written.

jodi said...

lol--time to think things through isn't easy. It's why the "duh--" moments are so few and far in between.

Hope your son is better, Kaige. You know that flu's going around and a really bad cold.

Hey, Alice!

Yeah, the trouble with finding stuff you re-think is er, finding stuff you re-think. :)

Sarai said...

Huh I never looked at it that way before? But now that you explained it I think that might be what's wrong with the stuborn book that won't write itself.
Well I guess I know what I'll be doing tonight!

Jeanna said...

Geez, I don't check in for a while and you're drinking something that glows in a glass and throwing books at walls. Knots, huh, okay. I know nothing of plots. Makes me happy to be writing nonfiction.

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Which is why my openings usually suck ass!!!! This makes sense. Of course, now I have to rethink "Edge of the Storm."
I've never looked at it this way. All I've known is "setting up the conflict".
I love visiting your blog.

Dayna_Hart said...

I was talking to Jen today about the way I write and she said "go read Cup's blog". And I thought...but there's nothing new there, because my RSS feed would've told me so. (It didn't. FYI, my RSS feed is now officially named Liar McLyingPants)

Anyway. The reason she sent me was because I'd been talking with Diana today about my writing. I call it the "Connect the dots" method. But this morning's image was more of a series of knotted scarves. I know what the knots are, but the fun is filling the spaces in between. Diana, on the other hand, just pulls the scarves through her hands, feeling her way along...but the knots still pop up for her.

Erm. So as usual I'm taking a really long time to say "aha" along with you.