HWSWA: Outlining. And Collage. And Spreadsheets. Oh, My.


The last post in the Heart of the Story unit is up on He Wrote She Wrote Again. It’s called “Outlining,” but it’s kind of a catchall for Stuff To Do During Discovery That Isn’t Writing. There’s a second post that has examples of collage (me) and a spreadsheet (Bob) so you can see what we were talking about.

Go here for “Outlining.”

And here for the collage/spreadsheet examples.

And here for an analysis of the beginning of the movie Venom based on the One Sentence Idea, the Central Conflict, and an outline analysis of why the first thirty-plus minutes are all wrong.

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This is a Good Book Thursday, June 25, 2020

Like apparently everyone else during this time, I am rereading obsessively. And it occurred to me that maybe this week, I could just list my top five favorite rereads of all time, the books I am returning to obsessively for comfort and the joy of reading.

But I’m gonna cheat and count a series as one book. Because it’s my blog, that’s why.

Here in alphabetical order are my top five fave rereads:

Aaronovitch, Ben; the Rivers of London series
Heyer, Georgetts; the Regency novels and contemporary mysteries
McQuiston, Casey; Red, White, and Royal Blue
Pratchett, Terry: the Discworld novels
Wells, Martha; the Murderbot series

Anybody else want to play?

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Working Wednesday, June 23, 2020

Yesterday, I ended up with so much on my plate that I forgot to meet Bob in Slack at 5 to talk about character arc. Fortunately, Bob is a pretty laid back guy unless we’re talking about prologues, so he let me off the hook. I still had to get groceries, wrestle the recycling to the curb, try to fix the air conditioner and then get the same air conditioner out of the bedroom, plus the various other things that take up time: cooking, showering, trying to get all the clothes off the floor, yelling at Milton to get his butt out of the road, the usual. I was a little frazzled by the end of the day, but then I looked back and thought, “These are not problems. You have no problems.” Because work is not a problem, it just gets in the way of my reading and writing.

And now it’s late on Wednesday, and I’m rereading Murderbot and Rivers of London, and I have PLENTY of Diet Coke and brioche in rolls (because they didn’t have bread, damn it, and what’s with the lack of bok choy at TWO different groceries? Is bok choy the toilet paper equivalent in the vegetable aisle?), so I’m going to kick back and have dinner before midnight when WaPo puts up the new crossword.

What did you work on this week?

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So About Dorothy

We’ve been doing the Heart of the Story discovery stuff on HWSW, and it’s made me rethink Surprise Lily because, as I wrote over there, a story is nothing without a strong antagonist, and of course, as we talked about here, Lily doesn’t have an antagonist.

Except I’d been thinking about Dorothy, Louis’s admin assistant, lurking in the underbrush at the museum. And I love a doppelgänger antagonist, so I thought, “What if Dorothy loves the museum as much as Lily does?” And then to add some more motivation (that’s what I’m writing about now, motivation), what if Dorothy had been in line for directorship (?) (note to self: research how museums work) and Louis had been given the job from the outside because of his connections, and then brought in his nephew Sebastian. Lily would have been upset for her, but they’d have been coping, and then they would have found out what an idiot Louis was. I mean this clearly needs a lot of work but I can see them aligned on that.

Plus once I’d named her Dorothy, I thought she’d keep a stuffed Toto on her desk, so I went to Amazon to see if there were any and found this awful cheap Toto-in-a-Basket that would be perfect for hiding a recording device or a taser. And I kind of fell in love with Dorothy. She’s like a nefarious Cheryl.

Below is my first Dorothy scene. Way too much thinkin’ and info dump, but it’s a start on character exploration. Dorothy might be fun to write, too. And maybe if I throw an antagonist into the plot, the voices will come back. I miss Cheryl.

Continue reading

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Happiness is Bees

I was outside yesterday, typing away on a gorgeous afternoon, and a bee distracted me. It was just one, and it buzzed in, apparently to see what I was working on, and hung there for a moment, just beautiful, and then it went on its way. I have a yard full of clover, but I don’t see many bees, and that worries me, so seeing this one was aa real charge. And the a couple of days later I read about Matthew Willey, whose mission is to paint 50,000 bees and whose work is beautiful. And that made me happy, too. Plus, there’s honey.

from Atlas Obscura
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/bee-murals-matthew-willey?

What made you happy this week?

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He Wrote She Wrote Again: The Central Conflict

The second new HWSW post is up, and there’s another post after that since Bob and I went off subject to talk about Nita. We’re having a bit of trouble sticking to one topic–this Tuesday we were supposed to be doing character and I started in on Prologues and Bob was the Voice of Reason, and you can imagine how that went.

This week’s post is The Central Conflict.

Next week is Outlining. Yeah, we’re meeting in the middle on that one, too. Maturity. it’s not exciting.

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This is a Good Book Thursday, June 18, 2020


I got sucked back into the Rivers of London series when I realized I’d reread Murderbot too many times. Also a fairy tale novel called Thorn, by Intisar Khanani, which was interesting, distant and cool with a great plot adapted from the Goose Girl. It has that epic distance feeling which is usually not my thing, but it was so well-written that I was drawn in anyway.

What story were you drawn into this week?

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Working Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Bob and I logged another HWSWA post and I’m still trying to figure out how to make the old blog usable. I’m slicing and dicing the Liz outlines, thinking about Lily, and keeping Nita on the back burner until I can figure out what it all means. Also filling multiple garbage bags because I need the Living room as an office and the kitchen as a kitchen.

What are you up to?

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