Sunday, October 21, 2012

Partnering with my Subconscious

My WIP's first act is still not right.  My first chapter, first page, first paragraph, first line are not delivering the punch I want.
Months ago, I axed the first two chapters because I recognized they were backstory.
I have two possible openers that, in my view now, still deal more with setting than introduction of my heroine, hero and plot.
I think my plot twists advance the story, and I still like my overall story arc--even more than when I first conceived it.

I have not been able to work on my story much over the summer; my physically demanding work schedule leaves me braindead by 9 pm. But come December, my evenings and weekends will open up. I am committed to finishing my rewrite and sending out the manuscript.

What I have been able to do this fall, as I get closer to my liberation,  is craft study. The book I am reading now is "Writing Love: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors II" by Alexandra Sokoloff.  She posits that "film is a compressed and concise have two hours, really a little less, to tell the story." She starts by assigning the drafting of a list of 10 favorite love stories, film and novel. Then she says to identify the one(s) that one's WIP most closely resembles.

I thought my time travel was a "road trip" story, but after sleeping on it, realized it is more a "Cinderella story." This ah-ha is clarifying how my Act I should flow.

Sokoloff says one's "subconscious knows way more than you do about writing." Between now and mid-December, I am consciously partnering with my subconscious. I am finding the story I have been trying to tell.


  1. Must admit I rely on my subconscious a lot when I'm writing - that's how my Elvis-singing Nile boatman suddenly popped up - though I'm not sure what was going on in my subconscious when that happened!

    An interesting point is whether screenwriting is the same as novel writing - or not. I tend to think not. In screenwriting, I think you rely on the actors to put across the emotions of the characters to the viewer; in a novel, the writer has to show those emotions in words in order to help the reader to feel them as they read the words.

  2. I have to say I totally agree with that subconscious thing, too. Sometimes if you stop thinking so hard about things, they work themselves out in regards to your storyline.

    So glad you're finding time to get back into your writing. Good luck with getting that story told and getting it out there! Any ideas where you're going to send it?

  3. You should keep the "Cinderella story" similarity in mind when you're writing your query letters. That sometimes helps. You also might want to look at the middle of your 1st chapter, 1st scene, etc. Sometimes the middle can give you a great starting off point.