Like the other 8Ladies, I have big plans for this fall which I hope will set me up to submit to the Golden Heart contest. I have two completed manuscripts and two partials in a four-book series. The first two, which are the completed, were written before I took the McD craft classes. The third is a partial and written during the classes and the fourth is a partial and is my MLA project. Without digging too deeply, I think the two partials are a result of craft paralysis. I can still get some great stuff on the page, but when it’s time to go back and flesh out and edit, I get bogged down in craft and don’t get any further.
I decided to go back to the beginning. I really want to sell this as a series, so it makes sense to fix the first one to the point of publication-ready, and then go back and fix the others in order. I am looking at this through rose-colored glasses and saying this is a good thing. I have enough of each written that I will be better able to layer characters, metaphor, motif, theme, etc, through the four.
The first thing I plan to do is chart all four books. I write using the Hero’s Journey as the plot structure. I also use Pam Regis’s 8 essential and 3 accidental elements of a romance. So I’m going to take each of the structure outlines I have and put them together in one big spreadsheet. I’m hoping to see or develop patterns that will help make the stories more cohesive.
Then the main focus will be on Manuscript 1 – Collide. I have a first scene that is more of a prologue. It would work well in a screenplay as an opening, dreamy scene that gets explained as the movie progresses. I was very hung up on that scene because it was the first thing that came to me when I started down the writing road and was the first scene I ever wrote. Now, several years later, I realize that it has to go (sigh).
I haven’t re-read this old manuscript since I started the McD classes. I’m sure it is morbidly awful, but I’m hoping to breathe new life into it by the GH deadline.
Actually, one more thing I should do is clean up my workspace, like Elizabeth did. My desk area has gotten cluttered with books, and cameras, and flotsam and jetsam and it needs to be purged.
Planning done. Declutter next. And time to get to work.