The Healer and the Pirate

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ways to Plan a Novel - Part 3

So this is probably one of the more unusual ways to plan a story you'll ever see, and frankly I'm not so sure it'd work for a full-length novel. But I think I like how it's been working for a short story.

Back in the day, I wrote and drew some poorly-drawn comics. Despite my mediocre-to-poor art, I had some followers, and I may revisit them and write them into stories someday. Mostly I like sketching and have no patience for polishing the sketches. Comics were great because once they were drawn, I could tweak the dialogue pretty easily, but the basic plot had to stay the same unless I wanted to redraw (and I didn't). And if I wanted to change the whole plot? Nah; too much work. It's also a visual medium.

Cut to 2012, and I found myself having trouble writing a short story without Maggie. I couldn't get passionate about the characters and had difficulty setting up scenes.

Cut to...

I used to lay out my comic with 2 pages to a sheet of paper, which left more room for dialogue and art (or maybe "art" should be in quotes). As you can see, the sketches are...well...sketchy, though co-workers who spotted me in the lunchroom noticed they weren't words, so that's something. Since the sketches here are in no way ever going to be used as comics, I squeezed 4 pages onto one side of a sheet of paper. Then I wrote out the actions and (revised) dialogue in the story itself.

How is it going, you ask? I'm cautiously optimistic. Right now I've got the whole story typed out and am in the stage of editing what is in effect draft 2.5 or so. Next week I hope to let you know if this method really worked long-term or if it was just a method to get me interested in a project again.

Though I guess the latter isn't the worst thing in the world, now that I think about it.

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