Friday, July 17, 2009

All are bored

All aboard, all aboard, join me on the jolly blogger...I have...erm...stuff to tell...

Remember the synopsis for my latest project? Well, today I rewrote two thirds of it!

I was happy with some elements of it, mainly the beginning, I think I have strong beginnings because I always visualise the characters and their entrance into the story really vividly: I see my stories almost cinematically, so when I write them - the stories themselves - it is just like describing a film, the way I describe a scene with my paints, breaking it down into its composite parts: that part there may appear green but it is actually a visual illusion, achieved by pixillating many shades of blue and yellow. See?

Okay, so it sounds utter guff when I make that analogy, but the point is, I'm a strong starter. Ring any bells?

Well, I know I want to do something really exciting with the narrative for this novel, but before I can get creative I need to have a solid linear narrative in my mind to work with. Something that is believable, engaging, stimulating, moving, and has that most important of things, emotional truth.

If my synopsis/plot outline isn't believable or moving, how can I expect the novel to be? I work from the standpoint that if you start with the finest ingredients, you make for great food, and great food makes for happy eaters! Ah, enough of the analogies. Are you keeping up there on the poop deck?

Well, I have a plot outline and a synopsis I'm happy with - for now. I'm making a tentative start with writing, that is to say, I've allowed the creative flood gates to open now and any snippets of dialogue that come to mind can be given passage. Toot toot!

Writing novels and painting pictures are similar processes: they both work on a principle of thirds. There's a rule in painting that you don't split the canvass in two by sticking a big object smack in the middle, you have to draw the eye in and around the painting. It's that way with novels. I think of painting a lot when I'm developing plots. And I don't think the plot has to be amazingly convoluted. If you have a good story it's a good story, no matter how many twists or turns it has - tell that. Woman the sails!

Also (Bored yet? I'm on a roll here guys, you might want to pause for tea - and might I suggest a chocolate hobnob? Yes, you may take two...) I think if you have a solid and engaging story which is quite simple, you can add interest, twists and turns by how you choose to reveal that story, through the narrative. Narrative is tricky - it's such a slippery word, means many different things - does anyone fancy a post about narrative with their next cuppa?

Writing isn't always plain sailing, and if you're struggling let me know - I'll fire some useless analogies your way, and if I can help I will - but when the sea's calm and the wind's at your back, it can be the most liberating journey, and the view is sublime.

You may depart, I hope you had a pleasant voyage!

10 comments:

Andrea said...

The painting and writing analogy is a pretty apt one, I think!

It's interesting to read about other people's writing processes - all the best with it!

Thanks for your comments and compliment about the poems on my blog. Some of them were fairly early attempts and different from what I do now, but I thought I'd post a mixture of them.

Rachel Fenton said...

I think it's good to show how you've grown and progressed as a writer.

Even if you don't think what you wrote was good, it is good in the sense that it's made you push yourself to write better!

And I always see something good in someone else's writing - even if I have to read between the lines to find it, and I like your stuff - what bit I've read - very Victorian, just like Rossetti.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

You paint too?! talented girl!

I feel positively windswept after that. And there are hobnob crumbs in my hair...

Good luck with the writing now!

Rachel Fenton said...

Hey, cheers,
d'you know who said biscuits come on strings? me neither, but they're right!

Nothing like a bit of entertaining framing to make the humdrum look like proper art!

Lori said...

It seems to me like a great idea to imagine your characters entering the scene like in a movie. I'm gonna try that. I am also working on a new book's plotline, and that might be helpful.

And I have never heard of that "principle of thirds", but it does sound right to me. It's like "wow, of course, I should have known that". I feel so much smarter, now. And I cannot wait to see how much smarter I look in the eyes of others, when I start commenting on how some photograph is not respecting the principle of thirds!

Rachel Fenton said...

Lori - Glad to have been of use. As for looking smarter I have one word - allude!

a cat of impossible colour said...

I'm not sure how I feel about being on the poop deck.

Rachel Fenton said...

Well, 'shiver me sides', good of you to hop on board - and I hope it gave you a smile - bet you're glad you're going overseas on a plane :)

Valerie Storey said...

Congratulations! I've chosen you to be a recipient of the Premios Dardo (Top Dart) blog award. Please stop by my blog to pick up your award to read the acceptance rules. Thanks so much for your excellent posts.

Rachel Fenton said...

I am honoured, Valerie - many thanks. I'd just like to thank...my agent...my family...my rabbit...and of course, all my wonderful fans...:)