Is this like a story question? Yes. Or is it a premise sentence? Yes. Or is it just a logline? Yes. yes, and yes.
Since today is ‘L’ day I will stick with Logline. Even though I have seen this used as the ‘story question’ and the ‘premise sentence’.
I have seendescriptions and ‘how-to-do-this’ all over the web.
I will show you what works for me. When writing your ‘Logline’ for your novel, ask yourself three questions.
Then, play with your answers.
First question: what is the inciting incident, that thing that happens
A rabbit runs into the garage….
Second question: who is your protagonist?
IfI put those two together I will get: When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny …..
Whatis Jenny’s goal, the protagonist goal? When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny decides to chase him out.
Third and last question: Will she succeed? Add your own people, places or things that are out to stop your protagonist.
When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny decides to chase him out. But, will she succeed when she is up against her kids who want to keep the rabbit, the dog who wants to chase the rabbit, and her husband who loves rabbit stew.
When the (inciting incident) causes (the protagonist) to react (What is your character’s goal?) And will he succeed (when set against what?)
Today I became word-stuffed on this eleventh day of NaNoWriMo. Even taking a walk did nothing to help with writing this Blog post; nothing could remove that word-wall blocking my muse. So, I wrote a Kenning inspired poem.
“Kenning, concise compound or figurative phrase replacing a common noun, especially in Old Germanic, Old Norse, and Old English poetry. A kenning is commonly a simple stock compound such as “whale-path” or “swan road” for “sea,” “God’s beacon” for “sun,” or “ring-giver” for “king.”~ britannica.com
“So there’s nothing more provocative than taking a genre that everybody who’s cool hates – and then making it cool.” ~Lady Gaga
Genre’s have branches on branches on branches with leaves fluttering in all directions. I just listed a few of those genres.
The sky is the limit on types of Genre.
Steampunk -is a sub-genre of science fiction
Ya –young Adult
“My theory on genre is that while there are people out there who believe that genre tells people what to read, actually I believe that genre exists as a marketing tool to tell you what to avoid.” ~Neil Gaiman
“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness” ~The Importance of Being Earnest By Oscar Wilde
The list of Genre’s has blown up. Here are just a few of the ‘Humor’ genres:
Insult comedy (which nowadays can get you fired)
“But when I hear a great song, I can’t help but be inspired by it, regardless of whatever genre that song falls under.”~ Taylor Swift
This morning as I headed out to get the paper I noticed that Mother Nature had a party in my yard. My yard isn’t neat. To imagine my yard you have to think, ‘horror movie.’ Tallgrass leaning over so thick at your feet it will trip you up before you take two steps; this is a great place for chipmunks, rabbits, moles, and any creature that decides to make my yard his home. And they do.
It was a small patch of flattened grass, around the base of a tree. A deer lay. They can get up and wander across the yard and eat the fallen pears and nibble on seed pods, trees, branches and still green grass, poking up and around the naturally coiffed blades.
The climax of their night was scattered around in piles of clumped pellets and a trail of un-clumped pellets that shattered apart as they decided to leave the area, these trails lead off in all directions.
***Deer pellets are larger than rabbit pellets.*** Sorry I wasn’t chasing that rabbit picture today.
Is it just meor do those deer, the ones hanging out under my trees, resemble partying teenagers in a cornfield? The only thing missing from the deer’s gathering is beer and a fire pit.
That climatic party happened without anyone seeing. It was a build-up of details, which will end with the start of a new story in about 200 days.
Today’s letter is ‘C’. Mmmm! Cookie? More like a climax. That part of your story near the end, where everything hits the fan and you are in the battle that ends the story. When everything changes. When the protagonist wins or the antagonist wins. That last fights for power or life. Where the main point of your plot is resolved. Whatever your main character was looking for he found. Or fought for and won. Or lost.
This climax ends your protagonist’s quest. think about it, why would you keep looking for something you already found?
Just like those partying deer. Their story ended (Oh, I had so many other words to use than, ended) with a nighttime party in my front yard.
Hmmm! Why do I have a taste for cookies? At this point, I need to stop and allow my cookie hunt to happen… ‘after’ I finish today’s word count. My reward.
Time to workon day three of NaNoWriMo.
If you are interested I found a delicious cookie recipe HERE.‘Coconut Oil Amish Sugar Cookies’.
I tweaked the recipe a bit. I didn’t have powdered sugar or crème of tartar or vanilla and almond extract (I used some coffee creamer) and I only used 3 cups of flour. I did freeze the extra.
I do have a full month of NaNoWriMo to get through and I don’t want to be cookie-less.
Truth be told.I stopped writing and made cookies. Then I finished this post….now, I need to get my NaNo words in for today. My reward for making cookies. 🙂
I am on track, 2,018: two-thousand-eighteen-words for today.
Today is ‘B’ day. Backstory.
Pretty obvious right? The backstory is all the things that happened before your main story. That Backstory will explain why your character hates spinach or is afraid of the dark or hates worms.
Do you need any of this? I do.
The great thing about NaNoWriMois that you can get out all that backstory. It will help you to work out your characters.
Working on yourbackstory you can mind-map your character’s family tree.
Use what is relevant to the story!
It helps so you can see why your character behaves the way he/she/it does.
You can even see the connections your character has to their parents, or aunts and uncles.
Example: If I need to see ‘why’ my character needs to carry a toad in his pocket. Maybe to remember the pond he fished in as a kid, and it was there that the bully named -Toad Killer- killed his pet toad.
I will write that story- that backstory for myself. Then, I will know why that character protects every toad he sees or why he hates ‘Toad Killer’. I won’t have to tell the reader the whole story, maybe just a mention of that backstory. Or it can be a complete story that starts with that backstory.
We see the backstory in every book.
Within J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books we find out his parents were killed and by who. (Whom?) Through the series, we learn more backstory; dished out in spoonful’s that keep us reading.
Don’t overthink- just write.
Thiswas my take on ‘B’backstory. Great back to writing!
It’s that time again, the first Wednesday of the Month
“Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.”
March 1 Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
I have thought about it-pulling out an old piece and reworking it. Something always comes up; a new idea or project and I move forward not looking back. I have to admit- I have a piece I have been working on forever.
(In my head I hear “forever” sounding like a teen trying to get out of washing their clothes.. Do I have to! ! Double exclamation point with an extra dangling whine. )
I have a lot of unfinished pieces. For one reason or another I just can’t find their endings. Those never really get done. I can’t seem to get close to the mid-point. Once I hit that rising action all my characters start falling off Freytag’s pyramid. I find that simple line isn’t enough to hold them, they start dangling by their toes….then the whole thing gets pushed back in its folder, stuffed in the back of a drawer or hidden between the pages of a book on writing.
I was told once, that I wrote too fast… and to slow up so I could think about what I was writing. That was the worst advice to give to anyone. Writing and getting that story out is the most important part- at least for me- once I have my thoughts on paper, then the real writing and rewriting starts. But, it has to be on paper. Not in my head! Not swimming in a fog of ideas, for once that fog clears, I can end up with ‘nothing’. Pooof!
I have been reading Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower series. In the introduction for the first book, The Gunslinger, King tells how long and to what extent, he had been working on this book and how he got the idea in the first place. He read J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in 1966-67, which sparked his wanting to write his “own kind of story.”
Stephen King said, that when he writes, “his method of attack” is to “plunge in and go a fast as I can” and “…keeping the edge of my narrative blade as sharp as possible by constant use, and trying to outrun the novelist’s most insidious enemy, which is doubt. Looking back prompts too many questions: How believable are my characters? How interesting is my story? How good is this, really? Will anyone care? Do I care myself?”
Then he goes on to say: “I put it away, warts and all, to mellow. Some period of time later six months, a year, two years,…” Then adding, “…I come back to it with a cooler (but still loving) eye, and begin the task of revising.”
So pulling out old stories and reworking them is on my list for 2017. Time can only sharpen my eyes, and my ability to tell that story with a slightly different twist.