Sunday journal ~ new opening scene

My main creative achievement for this week has been a new opening scene for project WIP. Not precisely what I was planning to do, but fun nonetheless.

It came about because I was writing some notes about the middle of the book, sharpening objectives, motivations, stakes and so forth, trying to figure out where and how to start revising, when it became apparent I need a greater understanding about the WHY of certain events that happen very early on.

Part of this relates to one of my two main characters. He wasn’t originally going to be a point-of-view character, but about a third of the way through the first draft I changed my mind. Turns out it’s as much his story as anyone’s… And this means I need to know a whole lot more about him from the start.

The best way of finding out is to write at least one early scene from his point-of-view. What were his goals before his life was turned upside down? What was his status quo?

I had been contemplating writing an earlier ‘status quo’ scene from my main protagonist as well. And suddenly the two scenes I needed to write materialised before me. Two new scenes to kick everything off.

This brainstorming all happened in the café. I was so inspired, I bolted home and wrote the first words of fiction in my study (as opposed to the café or the sofa) for months and months. Major achievement.

Alas, though, I’ve had such a lot on this past week, that I didn’t get a whole lot more done after that one glorious day (Tuesday). Only a couple of short café sessions to tinker with the new opening scene. (I’ve yet to write the second one.)

The other thing I managed was a refresher on the Scrivener tutorial. I’ve been writing in Scrivener software for a while now, but there is so much functionality I’ve not been using — indeed most of it I had completely forgotten existed. I figured it might be a good option to remind myself of all the features in order to get the most out of it as I revise/edit. I’m really glad I did this.

On the whole, it was a productive week, all things considering. Hopefully I can achieve even more this coming week, although it promises to be just as crazy…

 

6 comments

  1. So cool to pop onto your post and find so many parallels to my own “of the moment” process.

    Well, sorta kind’ve. In my case I was driving to a morning appointment when the the brain unexpectedly kicked into writing contemplation mode and the *Perfect Line* arrived out of a passing cloud or errant sprinkling of fairy dust. Those “light-bulb” writing moments are simply the best. Like your cafe experience when the wild thrill of knowing you’ve GOT IT lands with an explosion of shimmering genius! How easy this writing gig would be if the entire story came in such a way. Regardless, hip hip hooray to you for your moment of brilliance and may it be the start of many more episodes as your story surges forward!

    Funny, but I’ve been reading and wondering a lot lately about switching over to Scrivener software lately, but really was hoping to catch some thoughts from a current user. Do you love it? How painful (or not) is the learning curve?

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    1. The manifestation of the *perfect line* is always something to celebrate. Yes, I wish there were way more epiphanies in my life. I keep hearing about authors whose entire stories manifest in such a way. How do I get some of that?

      As for Scrivener – I don’t think the learning curve is too bad at all, so long as you take the time to do the tutorial (~2 hours) and accept that you won’t remember it all right away. Which is why I decided to do the tutorial again, now that I’ve been using Scivener for about a year and a half. (In the next comment I have a request for a post about my experiences with Scrivener, which I may well do in the near future.)

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  2. Awesome! I love it when something clicks together. That sweet eureka moment that is all too rare!
    Is your opening scene a prologue or still the start of the novel proper?

    And can you do a blog on the pros of scrivener for a writer? I’ve been toying with making the switch from Word but haven’t had time to research it fully yet.

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    1. Hi Leif – the new opening scene is not a prologue, it’s merely a preceding event that provides a bit more insight into my protag’s life before the inciting incident… although it’s still a scene of change, so not precisely status quo.

      I’m happy to do a post about Scrivener… I’ll start thinking about that and slot it into April. Thanks for your interest.

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