Following are the most important lessons from my Writing Boot Camp:
DESIGN VERSUS DISCOVERY
I am a writer who likes to discover. I jump and I leap right in to a text to see what happens… therefore, I have many texts! My challenge is to think design, basically plot for a story. What do I want to make happen? Figuring out plot points. Creating a plot along a narrative arc. Missing a plot is missing a sense of purpose.
THE NARRATIVE ARC
Beginning. Character in the midst of everyday life. Some kind of disruption, perhaps a person from the past. Sensual protagonist goes on a journey. Pass through gates, one crisis, another crisis. Climax is reached. Decision must be made. All seems lost. Protagonist will fail? Resolution, whether good or bad. Fulfillment. A new kind of Normal.
TYPES OF FICTION
Two large categories and one small: General Fiction and Genre Fiction and then Literary Fiction. General Fiction is that specific story, basically, I spin a story, my story, that specific story. Genre Fiction is a story held to a genre like sci-fi, romance, western, crime, mystery, historical and so on. Literary Fiction is what we all read: the classic stories that last.
My relationship with something Specific. Not my whole life. One specific and unique experience that changed me. High degree of uniqueness. External and internal journey. My specific relationship to that dramatic experience. Based on truth. Written as fiction. Needs a plot.
To write for the Body and not only for the eye of the reader. Think action. Think body language. Internal/external. Internal action are thoughts, expressed through narrative. External action is dialogue, expressed through characters directly. Narrative tells while dialogue shows.
Having material for memoir, play, novel and short story I need to get organized. A file for each project, whether on my computer or in drawers. Because I like to see and feel what I have written I like hard copies and because I want my material accessible I have cubby holes for each project. Which project do I start?
THE CRAFT WORKS LATERALLY
I can work on characters for one project while working on a plot for another. My writing informs my projects. I cannot actively write the story out for more than one project at a time.