Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Beginning, middle and end of story

I submitted my novel three weeks ago. Last week I got an email from the publisher. He read the letter, the synopsis, the marketing plan and a chapter and passed it on to the first reader. I should hear back from them within a month.

It wasn’t an acceptance, but it also wasn’t a rejection. It was encouragement. I’ll take it! And get my nose to the grindstone on the sequel. It’s percolating in my brain, and bits and pieces of the story are making themselves known. My Sounds of Silence (the working title) notebook, once filled with empty pages is filling with plotting, character development, ideas, outlines, details I don’t want to forget about, things I need to research.

Book I (Ramblings), the one I submitted is “between the rock and the hard place.” Book II (Sounds of Silence)is “the hard place.” Book III (untitled) is “the rock.” What does that suggest to you? I guess you’ll have to wait for the book to come out. It’s too early to say more than that.

I’ve decided Sounds of Silence will take a longer time period than Ramblings, which takes Amaris Golden Jewett through one month of her life, December. During that time she sifts through her memories trying to be that phoenix that rises from ashes. Sounds may be broken down into parts of a year. A lot will be happening in that story.

What I’m feeling as I work on this sequel is my mind expanding as I read, discuss, think some more, develop an interesting and appealing story line that says what I think is important to say and still holds my reader’s attention.

How many times did I start a novel, get to a certain point and set it aside because I didn’t know where to go with it? Dig deeper inside when you get to that point. And what does she mean by that, you may ask. I mean, look at your underlying message. What is the message you want to convey? What is so important for you to pass on that you are consumed with building a novel to say it?

Someone asked me once, well, I’ve been asked more than just once, “What is your novel about?”

I said I didn’t know exactly how to explain it to her.

“How are you going to write it if you don’t know what it’s about?”

I imagined a turtle pulling its little noggin inside its protective shell. That represented me to a “T”. From then on I usually say something like, “It’s too soon to talk about it.”

Ramblings works because it comes from deep inside me—the feelings, thoughts, experiences, observations—a LOT of observation—of the people who populate my world, even if they are in my world only a few influential, productive moments.

I recognize now that I must take my conception of something—whatever it is I want to write about—and prove it out. So, let me apply that to the idea that a story needs a beginning, a middle and an ending.

My conception/Beginning => Conflict development/Middle => Proving my theory/Ending

Now, take this itty bit of information and the plot a novel in an hour link I posted last time and see what you can come up with.

By the way, I’m interested in knowing about your “sounds of silence.” What are they? When and why do they occur? What do you gain/lose from them? And are you male or female? Please leave your comments by clicking the comment link. If you don’t want your comments to be publicized, let me know that, too.

Thanks! Now, get to work writers!

©2009 Cathy Thomas Brownfield


MysteryKnitter said...

I am reading this in chronological order.

MysteryKnitter said...

I am reading this in chronological order.