When I started plotting this novel I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. All I knew was that I had a story that I wanted to write and I was somehow going to figure out how to do that. I came to the conclusion that I really did need to have some sort of plan. Not knowing what a panster or plotter was back then I took some time to do some research. Now I can confidently say I fall somewhere in between. I think a story needs to have a course of action and flow of events i.e. planned events but most importantly–at least for me it also needs room to breathe and that’s where my inner panster comes out. It’s a good kind of scary because there’s this excitement of not knowing what happens next but also knowing that the possibilities are endless. I just have to come up with one.
So it’s been almost a year ago that I began to write down as many scenes as I originally had from ten years ago. Then I wrote as many new scenes as I could think of as I wrote the very first chapters according to the story as I knew it.
Then I realized I had to have the events in the story fall into a category. So I needed an intro, rising action, falling action that sort of thing. I reminisced a lot about my high school years (which is when the story first came into inception), but specifically my music classes and my music teacher who inspired me to look beyond the music notes and find the story in each song we sung. A song has an intro, a middle, and an end just like a story. But in between the music notes there are other indicatives that let musicians know which notes will be low notes, high notes, crescendos–which build up the sound, decrescendo–which bring down the sound, tone of the piece, when to breathe, pause and stop. All of those additional notes help shape the lyrics and music to make a song. It has structure something that I knew I needed to learn more about in terms of writing.
As I did some research on writing and how to compose a story that has a beginning, middle and end I discovered the Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 method. Decided that I wanted to have equal amount of chapters in each (hello symmetry) so I thought 10 is a good number for a total of 30. Now whether this book ends up being 30 chapters I don’t know since things could always change, but I’m okay with that as long as the story has a nice flow.
I started writing the final act 3 months ago. Yes, I know why I’m I not finished yet? Remember the story needs to breathe. So I took a few days here and there to recalculate and write up scenes see what worked and what didn’t. It’s been a road of discovery and growth and I’m loving it.
However, here I am beginning chapter 28, nearly there, taking deep breaths until the end of this manuscript.