AJ Revises: T – 22, or AJ Tangles with Her 1st Serious Short Story

So I’ve been writing a short story instead of adding new scenes to my NaNoWriMo draft. This is probably the wisest course to take, as I’m going to need some way to exercise what I’m learning from Plot & Structure, and this keeps me busy and off the manuscript so I can maintain distance from it.

The story I’m attempting to write falls into the same world as the Lon Derr, a sort of single character prequel. Already I’ve been lining up my scenes vaguely and filling them in as inspiration strikes, which I find strikes me after about the 100th word of attempting to fill a blank screen with text.

And, fortunate for the poor reader of the slush pile this story will eventually end up in, I’ve already been running analysis on my story and rejected some dead end paths. In particular:

  • I’ve been using the three act structure to create a purpose for every scene. Scenes that didn’t serve the three acts in some form got booted.

  • I’m making sure every scene has conflict in it, and that the 10-point tension meter stays above a 1. Scenes that ended up at 0 or 1 got booted—I’m not into set-up scenes that are boring. I’m pretty sure readers in general are not into that either.

  • The above has resulted in making one otherwise bland character into a snappier one, as sharp as her name would indicate. And that’s when I found out that even characters on the Lead’s side can be obstacles, at least at first.

  • I introduce a minion of the opposition early, in the first scene in fact, and allude to a main villain that’s much stronger than my lead.

  • I made sure there was a LOCK for the story: Lead, Objective, Conflict, Knock-out.

I think… I think I may just be plotting! I’m so excited. I plan to knock out a first draft, put it aside for a couple of days, return and revise, write up a second draft, do the same to it, and and and reach a final draft. OMG.