Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From Idea to Draft As Described by a White Cat

I realized that I haven't talked about the cats recently. If they knew this I'm sure there would be more mayhem at Chez Gregoire*. The reason for lack of cat stories I guess is because the focus at The Pie is slowly becoming more writing and writing life oriented.

But Alicia, I love hearing about your less-than-normal felines.
Aw, thanks. I love talking about my furry children too.

Because you asked and I do love them, I figured it's time to do a representation of how an idea becomes a story a la The White One. I should point out that this isn't an in-depth representation as there are only so many photos that work and so much brainpower to use.


You get a kernel of an idea.

It's just a teeny thing, but it definitely catches your attention. This usually happens when you're involved in something else so you have to look around what's in front of you to examine this HIGHLY INTERESTING THING OUTSIDE THE WINDOW.


This new idea is something GROUNDBREAKING as in "I haven't worked with this subject matter before" and to be honest, it's a daunting concept. You're used to working within your comfort zone.

You continue to examine said idea kernel.



Your idea kernel has turned into a BAG OF POPCORN, which is two kinds of awesome--you love popcorn and you have enough stuff in your brain to come out with some kind of outline.

The "outline" can be a list of character deets and ideas you want to explore, if you happen to be a pantser.



You're writing at a phenomenal pace and everything is so great that everything SHINES. There is nothing you can't do. You're on top of your writing world.

That outline you toiled over? So worth it. That quirky character you weren't sure about works on four thousand different levels. The sorta love triangle is totally unique.






Wait.







 


That sorta triangle or quirky character you were oh-so-proud of hadn't been accounted for in your planning. It's not your fault that your character has a mind of their own and have taken over your draft at an alarming rate. All the other scenes you were excited to write have to go on the back burner because of this messy corner you jammed yourself into.


You have a decision to make: do you go back to what you originally planned or do you solider on with this surprise subplot. No matter which way you decide SOMETHING has to go.

After weeks of deliberation, you decide to continue on with both the surprise subplot and your original plan. After all, it is the first draft. You can include elephant fairies if you want.







Ooo... elephant fairies. (They're scary.)




So you work on your first draft, powering through anymore hiccups. The honeymoon period is definitely over. Even as you complete it, you know that there are plot holes as big as kibble bowls. That's okay. That's why there's revision.

Satisified enough with what you got, you save your draft and let is sleep for a while. If you were smart, you'd do the same.



Then while you let your masterpiece simmer, you get a kernel of an idea...








Are there parts of the writing process that should be more in depth using cats? Let me know!




* The White One does destroy things for a reason. My guess is lack of attention.
______
Last.fm hit of the day: Free by Powerman 5000

6 comments:

  1. Hehehe behind (or on top of) every good writer is a pet. I seem to be in the minority with just a dog.

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  2. Cats get most of their ideas while sleeping 21 hours a day :) I get my best ideas from having a cat snoozing next to me!

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  3. LOLOL. The white one is adorable. :)

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