I love update post day! It means that I’ve made progress on my WIP, and that I’m ever closer to my goal of releasing Working the Asset.
Since the last update (ten days ago), I’ve completed Pass #5 — four days ahead of schedule 😃🥳 — and have made a start on Pass #6. In fact, I’m 12% of the way in.
For those interested, Pass #6 is all about the characters. Whittling down the cast size, cementing introductions, ensuring that I’ve treated them with respect–even when I’ve got to make them suffer 😈–and a whole host of other character related tasks.
Since the last update, I’ve blasted through Pass #4, the aim of which is to deepen audience delight with genre sequences, dramatic irony, and making sure that the story escalates well.
I’m now working on Pass #5. This pass takes care of the Fou Rs or as H. R. D’Costa (the creator of this outlining method) calls them The Four Workhorses. The four Rs are Realism, Relevance, Repetition, and Rhythm.
For the past few days I’ve been working through my stack of index cards—the continuously growing stack—looking for, and creating, setups and payoffs. And, tomorrow sees me tackling the fun/teeth-drying task of wrangling my subplots into shape.
Last week I posted about getting stuck into adding some meat to Working the Asset‘s story skeleton. I’d fantasized that I’d have posted that I’d gotten that done by now and was on the way to editorial pass #2…I may have bitten off more than I could chew for the time I had allowed for it.
Some Background (The CRPS Bit)
For most writers, physically writing on those index cards (or anything) is so easy and effortless that the only thought required to fill them out is what happens in the scene.
For me, there’s a lot more involved. For the last twenty years, I’ve suffered from a chronic pain condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). It affects my right hand and arm. Take a guess to which hand is my dominant one. Yep, you got it! 😬
Very long story short, the CRPS was caused by an injury sustained while serving in the Navy, and it eventually ended my career. And any prospects of ever having one.
It’s been a while (a really long while) since I’ve done an update post for my writing progress. That’s mainly been down to life getting in the way of writing.
In the last month or so, I’ve taken steps to remedy that—pretty much bahookie in chair and head down kind of steps.
What I’m Working On:
I’m back to working on the outline for Deniable Unit #1. Also, I finally have a working title for DU1: Working the Asset.
The outlining method I’m using is called Iterative Outlining, a method created by H. R. D’Costa.
A quick reminder of what iterative outlining is: it’s like doing all the developmental editing that usually happens after the story is written, but at the outlining stage—in three phases.
There’s a lot of work upfront, and it seems like it’s neverending, but it’s worth it. So far, I’ve saved a whole lot of time by fixing a plot issue I hadn’t even noticed was there. One that would have cost far more time editing at the end.
The Final Stage
At last, I’m on the final stage of iterative outlining, called the working outline. This one consists of seven editorial passes:
Odds and Ends
As of today, I’m 70% of the way through the editorial pass for the plot. Woohoo!
My progress will pick up steam as I work through all the passes, and I’ll share how it’s going here on the blog.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll join me as I get ever closer to typing THE END.
Woohoo! I made progress on my intentional outline. On a Sunday, no less. I’m four percent closer than I was yesterday, so that puts me at ten percent. I’ve still got a lot of chipping away to do, but I’m that bit closer to my goal of having Deniable Unit 1 available in stores.🥳
How It Went
I spent the better part of today unravelling parts of the plot that didn’t belong in the story. It was quite tricky changing some of the plot points because they seemed like they belonged. They seemed to belong because I’d focused on the theme when I’d done the original outline. When I looked hard at it today, it became apparent that I’d switched from one type of plot to another.