Thursday, December 20, 2012

Plotting and Planning a Wonderous Story

Post-it Key: yellow=plot, green=notes, red=problems, blue=to-do tasks

I've made a commitment to myself to work 2 hrs a day on the "The Project". Although I really wanted to keep working today, I held myself to it. My reasoning is that I figure that's about what I can afford to commit to when I have work and a regular life going. I need to both convince myself that I can get a lot done in 2 hrs (I can) and I want to build the habit by keeping a regular, consistent schedule at first.

So today's accomplishment was the rough outlining of what I'm calling Book I and about what I figure is 1/3 of  Book II. Looking at the pic of the board, I think I'm going to run out of room for Book II faster than I like -need to write smaller I guess!

I've concluded that this method will work really well for capturing the big picture and let me see where it's going and what needs filling in. I think now though that Scrivener will be very useful when I get to the "Chapter" (or in my mind "Issue") level of outlining. It's all a big learning process, I've never tackled something this large before.

At this rate, I think I could be finished with the broad-stroke outlining in a day or two. Then will come the rather laborious effort to run through the last 6 months or more of notes I've been taking and seeing what still makes sense or what changes need to be made to the outline. That effort could take some time if only because there are so many ideas to filter and reconcile.

After this planning phase, I have plans to outline the first "Issue" and begin visual design in earnest -that should be the fun part, though I have to say, I enjoy fitting all the story bits together and weaving plot.

As a side note, I took  hearing this song come up in my random mix as I worked on this as a good omen:


steve said...

Wow - that's a really great idea, to limit yourself to 2 hours a day. I hope you're able to keep that up, and in no time you'll have a ton of great stuff to look at. (Project Waldo?) :)

Marc Hudgins said...

In the end, Project Waldo was a lesson in what not to do. The poor guy spent over year making 1 (one) issue. It was lovely, but in my opinion, cold and technical. The immense effort showed and the passion was lost. The guy did get all sorts of acclaim at SDCC, and alledgedly got optioned on the condition that he produce more issues, which as far as I can tell haven't shown up yet and the guy has had to take up a day job again.

Better models are Wormworld ( REmind ( Neither of them are exactly my cup of tea, but they each found paths to producing regular, ambitious work and find ways to monetize them. I'd recommend reading their blogs from the start to see how they made it work. Compared to Project Waldo's angst filled posts, these guys discuss solid strategy and production ideas.

BTW Brubaker has a pretty great podcast (check out the ones with Daniel Lieske (Wormworld)):

Steve Ogden said...

Already big fan of Brubaker. Wormworld has never gripped me, though. Go figger.

Looks like you're finding magic, though, so keep on that.