Last week I drafted a scene map of The Gingerbread House. Stage 1 was to write down what was there, both with structure and character development. It didn’t have to be complete.
Stage 2 goes further. The focus for stage 2 is structure. I’ve gone through the story again and mapped the actions against a couple of well-known story structures: The Writer’s Journey and Wells’ Eight-point Story Arc. I use these as a guide for my writing but I don’t worry if my scenes done match up exactly, especially not with a short story. Most of the things need to happen and they generally happen in that order. Some things don’t fit the structures, but are necessary for the story to move on.
During stage 2, I’ve mapped what I planned against what I wrote. I’ve identified things from the original plan that didn’t happen but should have—they’ll need to be written in somehow. In most cases, I think what I wrote is better than the original plan. I’m still thinking I’d like to blow the house up, but I might not do it. Or I might do it with this stage, but change it again later if it doesn’t work.
Now the structure has been analysed, I’ll go through the story and make the changes that need to be made. With some luck, that means the story will flow better, make more sense, have better rise of tension, and be more interesting for the reader.
I’ve posted the edited version in the free stories section. I’ve kept the original on there as well so you can see the differences.
Next week is stage 3: analysing character arcs.
E E Montgomery
About writing, life, and random thoughts.
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