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Destination Publication: Post #04 - Thomas brother #2 (Leyton & Angelica's story) - progress report, writing goals & editing update

Last Week's Goal

  • Rethink the options.  
I outlined a number of options such as:

1 Continue as the planned on the HL course.
2. Enrol for the Jericho editing course in September
3. Enrol on an expensive off-line course in October,
4. Start again
5. Take a break
6.  Do nothing. Quit.  Walk away.

Basically, I'm edging towards options 2, 3 and 4. I'm on week 16 of the HL course but again, it's something her first few lessons dealt with thoroughly so useful for some writers but too nitty gritty for me.

Option 2 and 3, I should really only enrol with fresh work, or novel. Otherwise if Holly Lisle's course didn't work, what says the other two will? Also I may get more demotivated.

So I'm going for option 4, using a slightly home-made and unorthodox way - which is basically taking the course outlines and seeing if I can put my book through the treatment. I'm also going to try some other outlines as well...but I'll start with this first...

So using this book, On Editing: How to edit your novel the professional way by  Helen Corner-Bryant and Kathryn Price and their course (which is on my wish list) https://www.profwritingacademy.com/edit-your-novel-the-professional-way
The course outline vaguely links sections in the book, I figured out it was one way of doing it.

So let's roll... so first, I mapped out the book to the course outline.  I need to make this clear, I am NOT taking the course!

Plan and Plot
Aim: Learn about diagnostic structuring techniques and how to apply them to your own work.
Outcome: Find and fix plot problems and produce a solid structural overview (synopsis). 

So I read the chapter 4 on Plot which gave their own take, however it's very informative and detailed so because I was to the course headlines I didn't finish the entire chapter - just plotting and looking for diagnostic structuring techniques. Now on the course, I guess you are given these directly but in the book, it's more of a judgment call and assumption. So I made a few assumptions - and they have this great mapping technique of finding the emotional arc which is different from the story arc.

So those where the techniques I took from the chapter and then applied it to my synopsis.  Verdict: I need to work on the emotional journey especially Angelica, the female lead character or heroine. She seems to have too many emotional setback and no real progression from the synopsis so I need to figure that out when I go to the scene level. Leyton seemed fine on that big story story. Note on the course you also get professional supervision on this level, I'm just winging it as I have not done the course.

Cracking Characters
Aim: Find out how to assess character strengths and weaknesses, and flesh out less defined characters. Analyse characters in terms of their role and function in the plot, looking at character arcs and their impact on structure.
Outcome: Make a detailed analysis of your protagonist, including their inner and external conflicts mapped side by side with your plot structure.

This mapped out to chapter 2 in the book called. Creating and controlling your characters. Well, this was an easy one, I'm writing romance so both Leyton and Angelica drive that forward. It's the story of their relationship, so I have a general idea, I've done lots of work using Holly Lisle's early lessons so it was fine. I'm probably going to revisit this at scene level. If you really must know - Leyton is a control freak and Angelica is running from her past. The biggest issue, I realised doing this was Angelica doesn't really have a goal, but then I guess her goal is to run from her past. Not physically but emotionally.  The actual chapter was a little too detailed but there are a few gems...the issue with sharing the gems is that they worth the price of the book...

What is the Point of View?
Aim: Examine different POVs and explore their effect on tension and readability. Learn the dos and don’ts of (POV) and how to make yours as effective and intimate as possible.
Outcome (choose one option):
A: Edit 1,000 words of your novel to avoid head-hopping
B: Edit 1,000 words, using a different POV
C: Edit 1,000 words using advanced techniques to bring us even closer to the POV character

This roughly mapped to chapter 3 in the book - Viewpoint - the eyes of your story.

I normally write in third person POV and I head hop *shhhh....don't tell any other authors*. Any I decided to try the first person POV which I revealed on Monday....

-----start ------

This happens the morning after Angelica's one night stand.

Rough draft change from 3 person POV to 1st person POV: Chapter 6 

       I felt I just survived a deep swim in a hurricane, yet rested and refreshed. Opening my door, I hovered in the doorway. Packing boxes still littered the entrance and I was yet to unpack. I even felt sore but it had been worth the ride. I never knew I could give myself fully like that to a man, submit. I always had to be in control. But not this time. Not after five years of being celibate.
       In the corner of the kitchen was a large box labeled sauces. I had no cakes this weeks but the fliers would do. I packed what I needed and after a quick shower where I nearly explored my lower self imagining myself with him, I got on the road to Newham County Farmer's Market.
       "Where Detoun and her brothers?" asked Roger, a regular who had a small farmholding south.
       A tinge of pain. "They aren't coming anymore." I had to be honest so I wouldn't have the same questions again. "Their mother has something else planned.”
       Cookie had reported me for illegal child labour, even though having the kids at my stall was just me babysitting, and more bother than it was worth.
       "That figures. Yeah. I remember the inspector."
All threats were taken seriously and I had to prove they were only accompanying me and not working. Still I missed them.
       I arranged the sauces on my stall: BBQ, chill, rosemary, hot. And for the cakes I put out the flyers. After two hours of a slow morning, I saw Debra waving at me.
       "Spill it. I saw you last night with a M,A,N. You were sucking face."
       Roger looked at me curiously but I was not about to talk my business in an open market.
       "Why don't we grab some coffee, so you can tell me all about it?” suggested Debra.
       Roger promised to watch over my stall while we went to the makeshift mobile coffee shop.
       "So how was he, what did he look like?"
       "Tall, dark, blue eyes. Fit, nice tight body gorgeous without clothes," I said quietly with my heart racing thinking of him.
       "So exactly like your ex Donny. You split up with some jerk five years ago and now back again. Well that's what they say about types." Debra shook her head. “And blue eyes. I could swear you were talking to a brother."
       "Yes, with blue eyes and I slept with him." It was better it all out in the open.
       "Damn a dude with contacts! I just thought you'd only make out or something. That was what Clara said. Saw you making out on the bar stool."
Maybe they were contacts, it was too dark to tell. I sipped my coffee. "It was kind of freaky. I...we ended up in the motel room."

----finish----
So that was me. It reads better for Angelica but since it's a two person point of view, I'm keen on entering two characters' heads. If the book was just in either Angelica or Leyton's POV then I might consider it but unless I'm convinced otherwise, its staying in the third person.

This Week's Goal 12 May 2019

It has eight sessions so I'll work on session four which is about Dialogue and Description. This was potentially a scene I was going to use in the book but I wasn't sure so, so I wrote an alternative. It was a harlequin mills and boon 101 type scene but it would have made Leyton look like a creep, yeah alpha male creep but still a creep. Let's face it its not hard to turn an alpha male character into a creep with just the wrong scene. I'll work on it and show you what changed...

This maps out to chapter 6 in the editing book. 

What I think about the book?   On Editing: How to edit your novel the professional way by  Helen Corner-Bryant and Kathryn Price Amazon $19.99/£12.24 (Kindle £3.99).

Excellent but that's because I don't get lost in the detail. I'm using it at a very high level, mapping it out to the course and not going for perfection. It cost me £14.99 because I bought it full price at my local bookseller/bookshop...these guys keep on branding. It has a lot of gems in it so its not regurgitated or a rehash from other known books. However again you need to know if something isn't going to work for you, or not what you are looking for. 

So far I was about to diagnose that Angelica's emotional arc was out of sync  or too linear and that is HUGE in a romance. It's a big deal since romances are about an emotional journey. And I just did this using the synopsis at a high level. 

I'm the type of person that would buy an entire book for a page or chapter if it made a difference to what I needed at the time. So I think it's worth it, same with James Scot Bell's book but I don't use ALL of the information. 

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