Plotting

Friday, January 05, 2007

I'm plotting. I promised to get this ms written within 4 months. (Yes, I was on copious amounts of drugs to deal with my abscess when I made the promise. Anywhoo...)

I used to do a stream of consciousness type of plotting. Or, what I now refer to as the *"And Then" School of Plotting*. lol. Then I learned about GMC and The Hero's Journey.

Or tried to learn them. I have the books, taken the workshops, but still couldn't quite get the hang of it. Yet something must have stuck because I was able to apply the paradigms after the fact. I just couldn't plot to them.

This week, I plucked Syd Field's screenwriting book off my shelf. It's been gathering dust there since I bought it. But things are finally falling into place. The 3 Act structure works for me. The real light-bulb moment:

(paraphrasing) "The scene serves two basic functions. One, the scene moves the story forward; or two, reveals information about the main character."

Yess! This is soo me. While I can see that having GMC in each scene does make a scene stronger. I never quite grasped that G, M & C was absolutely necessary for each and every scene. By the way, I deliberately bolded the *or*, because it implies either, not both. Granted, a scene is always richer if it's doing several things, but those things don't all have to be regulated to one of the elements of GMC. jmo.


On the flip side, "moving the story forward" can equal Goal+Conflict while "revealing character" can equal Motivation+Goal. And you could definitely superimpose the Hero's Journey onto the 3-Act-Structure without too much difficulty.

I also checked out Lisa Gardner's notes on plotting and this other link I googled. So combining the 3 act structure, the index cards, and a plotting post-its board (thanks Alison). I think I'll have this puppy whipped into shape over the weekend. :-)

Then the real work begins. ::whimper::
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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish I could use drugs as an excuse as to why I decided to write a novella and a syn and a cover letter in two months--especially when this is exam month for me.

raine said...

Everything crossed for you, hon!

Jaye said...

We can be crazy together May. I'm in the middle of househunting and packing up our current residence. And, of course, our target move date is within 4 months.


Raine, you puritans sure are flexible. ;-) ))thanks hon((

Amie Stuart said...

GMC gives me the shakes. I"ll take the hero's journey anyday LOL
YOU KEEN DO IT BABE!

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