Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Fricassee

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I toyed with writing my entire Friday Friday in Pirate--for about seven seconds.  I'm not fluent enough to make that exercise remotely comfortable, so let's just settle for a nice, fat


(And perhaps a bottle o' rum.)

So, lots going on around here!  In case you missed yesterday's post, submissions for our first Logline Critique Round will be open on Monday from 9 to 5 EDT.  As in previous years, the illustrious Holly Bodger will be critiquing all of the entries.  For those of you who aren't in the know:  Holly is a logline goddess.  No, really.  And she's got a fabulous book coming out next year.  You'll hear more about her on Monday.

We're only doing 40 entries per logline round, so if you don't get into this round, try again!  There will be 3 rounds total.  I know that only accommodates 120 people, but that's all we can squeeze into the schedule.  Be extra nice to your critique partners in the next month so that they will look at your loglines!

Oh, and I've just got to say this:  The bot lets me know whenever there's a duplicate entry.  So please don't try to be all sneaky and enter from alternate email addresses.  If this happens, and if your entry gets chosen, I will delete it.  The rule is one entry per person.

The Bot rules.  Almost like the eye of Sauron.

As for me--I've had another Strange New Development in my writerly journey.  Nothing huge, but definitely different.  In short, I seem to have planned my story in 3 acts.  Not that I haven't been aware of this technique--it's common and it's effective.  In fact, sometimes I've read novels that were obviously broken into these 3 days (like, "Part 1", "Part 2", "Part 3"), and I didn't like the blatant obviousness of it.  (As in, do you want to just include your plot outline at the end of the book so we can see the cleverness of your structure?)  But it works.  It's solid.  I've just never constructed my stories that way.

Until now.

It happened naturally. I've been in the planning stage of my Shiny New Story That Not Even My Agent Knows About Yet for a few weeks, and just yesterday I finished planning what is clearly Act One.  I knew it deep inside my gut-parts as soon as I finished writing the list of events.  "Great googly, this is Act One!" I exclaimed (not really).  And though I haven't got the plot entirely worked out yet, I can already see in my mind the delineations for Acts Two and Three.

Interesting!  I'm not sure why this happened, but I'm feeling pretty comfortable with it.  And, of course, I keep opening Scrivener, reading my "Act One" rough outline, and feeling all giddy.

"How was your day, Authoress?"

"Oh, fabulous!  I've planned Act One!  My very first Act One!  Do you want to see it?"

So, that's me.  Reveling in this new Thing that seems to be working.  Writing novels is such a fluid thing, is it not?  The farther along we go, the more we change and grow.

(Wow, I just wrote a spontaneous couplet.  Feel free to share that with your friends.)

Anyway--here's the the beauty of words!  And the wonderful way in which our brains work to our advantage in often unexpected ways.

Now get t'work, me buckos!  Dead men tell no tales--so we'll do it for 'em.


  1. I'm envious! I've never been a plotter, but I'm trying to get a (very rough) idea for the next thing I write, because I know having at least a little bit of a map will help. It came out to four acts. four parts.

    Which has me a little bit confused, because whoever heard of four acts?

  2. Well, I think it really has to work for YOUR story, right? There are operas with 4 acts, so there you have it. :)

  3. Shall I understand from this that your new story has pirates in it?

  4. Hi-ho, thar. Story structure that appears on its own without authorial intrusion be a blessin'. Enjoy ye shore leave.

  5. I am finding this particularly funny today, because in the past couple of years I've found that using the "3 act" rough outline has helped me be much better structured when it comes to the middle where I tend to get slogged down and lose my story. It's become my go-to way to start planning my story, either before I draft or after I draft.

    But I pulled out a manuscript I haven't worked on in ... well a long time. And I had these grand plans to use the 3 act plot to help me make sense out of the rewrite I need to do. And almost immediately discovered that it's totally not working for this story. So now I'm playing with this loose looping sort of structure and it's working perfectly.

    So, I guess it depends on the story! And I love getting to figure out how to best approach each one :)


  6. Yay! You gotta go where the story leads you! I can't say I ever done this. I've only had a few stories with multiple acts, and unfortunately for me, I wasn't much of a planner back then. Lots of atrocities in the old story graveyard. Lol!

  7. Oh gosh. My crit partners are always talking in "acts" and I don't work that way either! My work happens organically, by which I mean I'm a "pantser." Somehow I end up with the right flow, but I don't do it on purpose.

  8. Three acts. I like that. Aye!

    And I think it would be really hard to write with a patched eye and hook for a hand. Arrrr!