A moment ago it was gray outside, but now it’s sunny. That describes my work this week on The Foreigner. I devoted the week to working solely on the novel, pre-writing work–laying a foundation for the plot. I’m not writing from scratch; I’ve got nearly 200 pages of manuscript, some connecting strands and many holes, a ragged spiderweb of story. I could see the problem is lack of structure. The main plot stands, but novels are organic so if something comes along that fits, I’m taking it.
I’m trying to solidify the story’s engine, the thing that drives the plot. Wrote a lot in my Moleskine about the characters and their motives. I think I’ve got the main plot worked out. I have the structure outlined: inciting incident, plot point 1, mid-novel reversal, plot point 2 and the resolution, but the actual narration is loosey-goosey.
A book I find inspiring and helpful is Novelsmithing: The Structural Foundation of Plot, Character, and Narration by David Sheppard (By the way, it’s free to the Kindle). When I’m wrestling with structure, this is my go-to writing book.
It’s taken me too long to write this post because I kept getting the spinning wheel of death or the blank page of no return when I surfed to Amazon, and oh yeah I had to re-create it because it disappeared into the nether reaches of the ‘net, which sometimes reminds me of a marshy bog where you don’t want to follow the lights.
It’s way past time for me to get to the real work.