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My Skeletal Process

05/05/11

  08:49:49 am, by Nic Wilson   , 310 words  
Categories: Blog

My Skeletal Process

Since I was fairly vague yesterday, I figured I?d write on my process, and where it?s gone slightly askew. I outline very vaguely. I think a story should develop organically, as much from characters and situation as anything, so I never plot too specifically. What?s the point in specifying how a character will react to a certain event in chapter 10 when I?m not sure the emotional state they?ll be in by the end of chapter 9, or the intricacies of what they'll be reacting to? That way lies madness, or worse, forcing a character to act uncharacteristically (or carry the idiot ball) just to advance the plot.

 

From the vague plot, I proceed to a draft. I like dialog. I naturally gravitate to dialog. I have a screenwriting friend who can?t even wrap his brain around it, but to me, dialog is the most revealing thing in a scene, giving us more character than everything else, because it encapsulates the essence of what people are both trying to say and trying not to say, too.

 

But here?s where I went a little wrong. Usually I outline dialog-heavy, and fill in details later as I piece the skeleton together, and as drafts go add muscles and skin until I?ve got my own homunculus. But the problem is I?ve become more and more dependent on dialog, to the exclusion of all else. I feel like I've been leaving around a lot of half-completed skeletons, lately.

 

It started as a byproduct of time constraints; it?s hard to churn out tenish pages of story progression on a weekly basis, while meeting a lot of other commitments- even harder still to draft ten pages and then redraft until it?s sixteen or more. But going forward, my writing is going to be beefier. Because it needs to be. Call it a Cinco de Mayo resolution.

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