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!