You probably haven’t noticed, but I’ve not published any fiction since Friday. I didn’t mean to take a break, but for some reason, it felt the right thing to do. I needed some distance from the self-imposed pressure of writing for the site every single day, which I had done for nearly four months.
I’ve also been planning the novel I’m going to work on this summer and I think I’m ready to start writing it. I’ve been using Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering as my blueprint for the plan. For anything longer than a short story, I have to know what I’m writing towards, otherwise how can I foreshadow effectively etc?
Brooks’ book is excellent for this. In terms of story structure, it sets out the tentpole moments of the story that you need to write towards and away from and once you’ve done those, you’ve got half the book written.
1 The Hook
2 The Inciting Incident
3 The First Plot Point
4 The First Pinch Point
5 The Context Shifting Midpoint
6 The Second Pinch Point
7 The Second Plot Point
Using this structure along with the Jungian model of the Hero’s Journey, I feel I’m ready to depart and take my first steps. I’ve sketched out the inciting incident, the two plot points and context shifting midpoint, and I know how I want it to end. I’ve also got an absolute stack of backstory written, a lot of which won’t make it in, but is there because I need to know it. Obviously, a lot will change as it gets written, but there’s really no excuse for not setting down the first words now.
It’s provisionally called The Great Weight of Ordeals and is about a man facing the consequences of his past as he searches for his son in London. If you’ve read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry… well, in my head I’m hoping it occupies a similar space.
So, that’s my (unpaid) day job for the next couple of months. I’m not even going to think about earning money until July and get as much of this done as I can before then. I will keep writing fiction here though, as often as I can. It just may not be every day.
Thanks for reading. Smile on, x