Monday, 16 March 2009

Work and bridges

Work is progressing nicely. I'm still fiddling about with KT as it goes through the critique group, but the real concentration is now on reworking Shadows into something more worthwhile. The original word count was 54,000 and that seems way too low, and I think even lower than that for the original Triskelion publication. No wonder one reviewer called it a novella.

But a writer's life is a constant learning curve. What seemed fine then seems weak now. The surprise is that it is only two years ago, maybe three.

Right now I'm working out the plot on a Snyder-style sheet and it is going well. Lots of scope for using coloured pens, which makes me feel industrious and creative. But seriously, the conflict is definitely beefed up and it is easy keeping track of plot-points via the worksheet. Sometimes it can be hard to remember exactly where in the story an important move is made, but this way makes it easy. No longer am I wondering 'did he say that before she went into town, or after she fell in the pool?' Now I check the sheet and there it is.

I'm debating changing the KT title to something more explanatory. Someone asked me what Keep Trust meant, what kind of story did it hint at?
It is the motto of an old Scottish house and of course it means that if you make a promise you keep it.
Originally I thought that would be quite clear, but now I'm not so sure. Perhaps Shadows deserves a new title, too. I wonder how much has to be re-written before it is classed as a "new work?" I suppose there will be a definition somewhere out there. I'd better go check.

I hinted a few days ago that Newcastle was a city of bridges. Well, here are a few shots to give you a taste. The one to the right is a shot from the east end of Newcastle Quayside, looking west towards the Sage (the silver slug) and the newest Millenium bridge.
Behind that are the older bridges.
The shot through the trees is of the iconic Tyne Bridge (1929).
The third picture show the the Swing bridge (1873) and the High Level bridge (1848) with a train going over the top. The road runs on the lower level. Behind that is the Metro Rail bridge, otherwise known as The Queen Elizabeth Bridge (1981).
There's another bridge beyond that - the Redheugh Road Bridge pronounced [ˈrɛdhju:f]) opened in 1983.


Carolin said...

Hey, Jen, a question: what is that style sheet/work sheet you're using? Is there something out there to help keep track of the plot? Could use something to help me map out my story - I'm having trouble juggling all the various threads *grin*


Jen Black said...

I read Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.
It's for screenwriters, but works for novels as well. I've devised my own version of his Beat Sheet using is the various "markers" to make a plot turn in the story and make sure what you want to happen, happens in the right place for maximum effect. If you check his web site he used to have it up there. Jen