Revisions have so far been full of backlogging information. For this manuscript, I only completed a certain amount of pre-planning documents, character mapping, and story notes before I started in on the story. This story started as a question I had about something I had seen many times and often wondered about. It was a simple thing, but my musings led to an idea, then a “what if” and that led to a story. This story was driven first by that image and then by the main character. My main character is someone who surprised me, who doesn’t think like me, and he needs more than the story has given him so far.
I focused on sketching out the timeline and breaking down the events into the three acts of the story. That was hugely insightful because it made me realize that a key relationship for my main character wasn’t actually introduced until the second act of the story. That needs to be revised because that relationship should be established before the inciting incident. It has to be, because it will change the way my main character responds to the inciting incident. I realized too that if it isn’t introduced in the first act of the story, it REALLY doesn’t make sense for what happens at the end of the story.
Already, this is my favorite part of revising. I’m not refining this version of the story. I’m peeling away this layer of the story to get closer to its’ core.
This week I need to jump into the writing and start hacking through the chapters. Though I feel like I could do more on the story notes, I know I need to move away from that work before I get lost in it. I have a list of things that need to be done and changed already, starting with weaving that relationship to the main character more deeply into the story. Of course, the more I get into, the more I will realize, and the closer I will get to the core.
What kinds of things have inspired your stories? What project are you working on to start 2019?