Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I only said that because I'm hoping to have a book and a proposal done by Christmas. LOL If I get them done, that will be a happy, lucky day for me. And I have a Christmas release THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS. Not to mention today's $.99 release CHASING THE RUNAWAY BRIDE. For $.99? ...go buy it. LOL

When I'm in the throes of deadline after deadline...which I will be until June 1, 2015, I have discovered that two things will keep me from going off track. Those same two things will give me "something to write" every day.

What are these magnificent things?

The one-line story summary...It's a book about a shy heroine who only makes sensible decisions because of her life as a foster child, who meets a temperamental chef who sweeps her off her feet, but she's terrified to commit to him.

And story high points.

These are the framework of your story. So even if your storyboard goes wrong or your synopsis suddenly becomes irrelevant -- because, as the story took life as you wrote it, something took an unexpected turn -- you can keep your story on point (even with the new direction) if you lead it back to your one-line story summary and/or your story high points.

For instance, in my story about the Italian chef, the hero kissed the heroine before he was supposed to. LOL But I didn't panic. I knew the next high point was to be that she told him she was already engaged and I used the kiss as the event that causes her to tell him. Then my story was back on track. Except the first kiss in the synopsis now became the second kiss. LOL

If, however, I have a character make a decision that goes against the one-sentence story summary, I might actually delete the scene.  If my shy character who only makes sensible decisions suddenly decides to go skinny dipping long before her character arc allows for her personality to begin changing...I axe that baby. Why? Because if you lose your connection to the one-sentence story summary, you lose your connection to the story.

I'm all for characters helping the story along with unexpected behavior. But note...The temperamental chef's unexpected action FIT the one-sentence story summary. The heroine going skinny dipping did not.

That one-sentence story summary should be the heart of your story. It should be the essence of the story you want to tell...if you go against have a totally different story.

You don't want that...At least you shouldn't. When you wrote that one-sentence summary, it should have made your heart sing...if it didn't...maybe that version of the story wasn't the one you wanted to write?

Plus, if you can find the heart of your story before you start writing, you can save yourself a lot of woe. :)

So chew on that. And go buy my $.99 book.

But stick to the heart of your story...Oh, and btw, if you don't like the heart of your story...or don't feel it's strong enough, I'd keep working on THAT before I wrote. Know that heart and your writing day will become a lot easier. :)

Happy Monday...and Happy Reading
susan meier

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