Just write: Self-shaming Sunday update

This week it’s all about the map.

My first attempt to write Anna’s story of retribution was a dismal failure.  I allowed myself to get caught up in the complexity of individual scenes and forgot a vital rule in novel-writing:  Every character action/reaction must benefit the progression of the story as a whole.   As a result, I lost sight of my final destination.  To rectify this problem, I’ve gone where I’ve never gone before.

To the fiery depths of Hell.

Well, not really.  Just into the depths of the dreaded outline.

I’ve been working on a vague sketch of Retribution using my favorite prompt game, “What if.”  This week the story is beginning to take form.  Through this process, it has become obvious that this will be a very different tale from the one I initially envisioned.  But it has to be, right?  Of course, it does.  The last one was complete shit.

So what’s the nitty-gritty on the my weekly progress?

I have a good overview of Retribution down on paper.  Of course, there are a few gaps, a few unconnected dots,  but I think they will work themselves out during the hardcore outlining phase.   Which is where I find myself now – the hardcore outline.  Up first, the set up.  I’m pleased with the sequence of events in this phase.  However, there is one hiccup.  Anna’s father.  In my last attempt, he was dead.  His in-depth characterization was largely inconsequential.  He had a peripheral presence that did not require any real exploration.  In this version, I have brought him back from the dead – at least for the interim – and his real-time relationship with his daughter is an essential element in the progression of Anna’s story and her quest for revenge.  Therefore, he must be fully examined and profiled.

This week’s goal = finish a solid first draft of the setup outline.

Goal = Sort of met, but need to find out what makes Anna’s father tick before I can really set this outline portion in stone.

Next week’s goal = Finish up character profile for Ivan and continue working on setup outline.