Thursday, September 24, 2009

My New Invention: The Script Method for Novel Writing (Part II)

I confess. The problem with writing a II or III part blog is that by the time I get back to the next part, I realize my "big idea" is not so big afterall. But I'm committed (or should be!) so here are my thoughts on what I compare to a script method for a rough draft.

It's filled with placeholders - - someone described it as "placeholders on steroids" - - and it by no means quality writing. It is both telling and showing. It is not thinking about dialog tags or pausing for any search for the right word. Ignore your thesaurus. Quick and dirty. Rough. (Oh, that's right I do not write erotica. I forgot. LOL) Nevermind! The idea is simply to get the thoughts down without stalling out on the details.

Using placeholders is not new to me. At the end of my first manuscript I had already started using placeholders to a limited extent. Especially for research or a description, or both. [Add historically correct description of the wedding dress.] But it's this deliberate combination of showing and telling in a rough draft that I find liberating.

Here is an example of what I mean by a rough draft of a scene using the script method.

The telling: [When Beth is asleep, Ben sees the taxi outside his window and goes to talk to Alex (fyi: Alex: the grim reaper taxi driver, Carrie: Ben's sister).]

Bits of showing with dialogue, not worrying about dialog tags:“She can hear me.”

“It appears so.”[pause] “Perhaps she can help.”

“No. I don’t want her involved in this.” [some emotion, frustration, anger] “Did you do this? Make Carrie hear me instead.”

[Ben hears Beth call out his name.] Ben!

[He looks to the house. Dark house, add atmosphere.]

“She’s calling for you.”

[conflit in Ben but he goes to Beth, bypassing the stairs in a ghost like instant and appearing at her bedside. Panic from Beth.]

“I’m here.”

[Relief from Beth] “I thought you were gone.”

[Resignation]“No, I’m a f***ing ghost remember? I can’t go.”

The flaw in my logic of the "script method" is that it, um, takes too much time. *looking sheepish* All those brackets and all. Yes, I confess. There is no method. I am a fraud. LOL

Okay, take away the brackets then. :)

I'm still convinced there is a value in the rough draft, by whatever name you call it. Something to be said for NOT STOPPING until the bare bones of the scene is there. Then flesh it out in revision. Do I need a placeholder for emotion? Do you? Maybe not. But it doesn't hurt. I'd rather have it there then a blank page.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right NOT to have a Part III to this topic. [reader expresses relief] LOL

No comments:

Post a Comment

My Blog List