I have just signed up to Critters, the on-line workshop/critique group for serious writers of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror! Hopefully they won’t mind my blend of history/fantasy too much.
I think it’s a great idea. It offers a means to get some detailed critique of your work within a password protected environment. The key is that you only get your work critiqued if you critique others – you have to do an average of one a week to get your own stuff looked at. I’m planning to look through a story tonight on the train so that I can start building up my critter cred.
On Roger Draper, still haven’t come up with a new story name, although I haven’t given it much thought, so that’s probably why. But I do now have only one character to flesh out and then it’s back to the plot synopsis again. I feel there are a few inconsistencies that need to be ironed out at the next stage as the individual character plot-lines have gone their separate ways rather. Also I need to balance the different emotions floating around and the possible conflicts as well. I have the impression that I want the story to feel right, rather than just make a decision on each character and let it wonder. I want to make sure that the ensemble of characters works well together. Perhaps I’ll include a bit more detail in a future post.
I have just done snowflake stage 3 for two characters who I thought would be quite minor, in that they are other users of Edmund’s magic, but not really directly involved. While working through their individual plotlines I realised that they could actually provide the clues that lead Roger to Edmund.
I’m just thinking that I should probably give this project a new name! The name of the main character isn’t that inspiring after all as a book title. Perhaps I will give that some thought soon.
I had a realisation last night on the train home that my plot had a major flaw. Basically the murders that prompt Roger’s investigations are pretty much solved by the beginning of Act 2, the rest of the book being taken up by how Roger can save Margery and himself from false accusations. Although that might mean revealing the real killer at the end, the mystery of who the killer is should be maintained until a climax in Act 3 as well. I hadn’t really considered that before. This prompted me to change the last couple of parts of the main plot. I also added in a major upheaval in the town and action sequences that allow Margery to take a larger part in the narrative, rather than just giving advice from her prison cell. I think overall this makes for a stronger plot now.
As far as the snowflake methodology is going, I can definitely see how this is benefitting the story. As I write each individual characters plot-line more complexity and intensity is added to the main plot itself. Before I leave this character stage I will need to go through each one and sort out inconsistencies between each and also between them and the main plot. The next stage of snowflake, stage 4, which is to expand the five sentence plot to 5 paragraphs, should actually be fairly straightforward to put together as a first draft as most of the material is in each character plotline now. However, I think I will then need to spend time reading through this synopsis to see how the plot as a whole hangs together.