I’m not sure which I dislike more – doing the dreaded synopsis, or trying to nail down internal and external conflict so it makes sense and carries through the entire story. As of yesterday, I was leaning heavily towards the conflict.
As homework for Day 2 of Shelley Bradley’s Storyboarding class, we had to fill out our Conflict Grid. Great, I thought! Something to make the process easier. Um, yeah. Three hours and several clumps of hair later I was on the verge of tossing my entire book into the nearest bonfire. Luckily, I didn’t strike a match, blow torch or anything similar with flames shooting out of its end. I kept reminding myself that getting this nailed down would prevent much revision later, and if I was having trouble filling it out, maybe that was a good indication I needed to seriously look at my original conflicts.
So I continued to hammer away. And hammer. At some point the only hammering was my head on the surface of the table, but hey, I was still hammering. I finally finished last night but wasn’t entirely happy. I had changed my heroine’s personality and it just didn’t fit. She was too cynical. So was my hero. It didn’t work. My heroine was supposed to be open minded and accepting in the face of my hero’s cynicism. So I went back in and fixed a few things this morning and now I feel better.
The exercise was hard. Brain-twisting, headache inducing hard. But it was worth it. And I can definitely see how this will help down the road. Better to fight with it in the beginning than get two drafts down and realize – oh-oh, Houston, we have a problem. Which is sort of the situation I am in now.
Needless to say, I am really enjoying this course. I think the whole process will definitely help me work out the majority of my plot problems and conflict issues before I start writing. Oh happy day. Because if I can do that, I can write more. Fewer drafts, less time, more output. Yippee!!
And speaking of yippee! There is a very, very good chance that I will be bringing home a new beagle pup at the end of September. I’ll keep you posted as the situation develops and pictures are available. Actually, I have pictures now, but I’m not sure which one will end up being the one I take home, so we’ll wait and see. Don’t want to jinx things! Although I have started stocking up on supplies when I see them on sale. I now have toys (the all important Kong), leash, collar and neutralizing spray for accidents. Next up - crate and baby gates.
And the weight watchers thing is still proving easy to use. Two days and two pounds down. Granted it won’t continue to be this easy, but since I just need to drop 13 lbs to get to my goal weight, two pounds is enough to induce a happy dance. Which, if I can keep up for an hour, will get me three more points...