Becoming one with the Skeleton: WiP Wednesday #3

 

I’ve always known I wanted to “write a novel, but no matter how many times I sat down to start I never could. As I mentioned in last weeks post, I’ve always had many novels planned but never made much progress beyond planning them. Remembrance in Blood is different, I’ve started it and I’m making progress. So what makes it different?

I’ve become one with the skeleton! At least, writing down the skeleton of my story. Before, when I’ve attempted other pieces of work, I’ve gotten stuck right from the start. I’d spend literal hours labouring over one page; trying to get that page perfect. I wanted my story to have a captivating introduction, I wanted to get my readers hooked, I wanted to describe the scene and set up my characters… All that is fine in the long run, in fact, I’m pretty sure most Authors would actively aim for that! But when writing the first draft? It’s a setback and it holds you back.

So, I’ve started writing the skeleton of my story. I write just to have it written, I write just to move from one scene to the other – sometimes as little as a couple of lines – purely to get my story onto the page. I don’t look back, I don’t labour over each word used, I write and write and write some more. It’s been a blessing. Honestly, I don’t know how I haven’t done this before. I used to be so obsessed with a First Draft being closer to a Final Product without even considering just how terrible and bare-bones a first draft could be – and it’s great!

Title: Remembrance in Blood

Word Count: 8,000+ Approx.

Status: First Draft

I might only be 8,000 words in, but plot wise I’ve made a ton of progress. When I reach the end, I can go back and fill in all the gaps; adding flesh to the bones of my story.

What tactics do/did you use to just get on with the First Draft? Are you like me, creating a skeleton you’ll later flesh out? Or are you one of these “Right First Time” Writers that I’d be jealous to meet! Share your stories below! And feel free to join WiP Wednesday.

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17 thoughts on “Becoming one with the Skeleton: WiP Wednesday #3

  1. Pingback: Self-Telling Stories: WiP Wednesday #4 – Clockwork Clouds

  2. I’m glad you’ve found that the skeleton method works for you. Recently, I’ve been using a method from “Write Your Novel From the Middle” by James Scott Bell. It’s really a glorified outline method, but it all centers around your turning point or middle point moment. If you haven’t read the book, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a quick and helpful read! Good luck and congratulations on the work you’ve done so far.

    1. Sounds an intriguing read! I’m definitely open to more suggestions so I’ll give his book a read. I’ve seen Bell’s name popping up everywhere recently, so it must be one to take seriously! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. I’m covering the same ground with this comment but… Once that idea hits you have to write it all out. When you get halfway in and the idea changes, write through that one! And don’t toss anything away, old bits and pieces can be the bones of a whole new story.

  4. An 8k word skeleton is pretty impressive. I manage about a page of very sketchy plot lines before I plunge in. But as I get ideas I go back and flesh out the skeleton so I won’t forget. What I never manage to do though is get to the end of the story with the skeleton. That happens all in a rush when we get there.

    1. Thanks, Jane! It’s perhaps a little more than a Skeleton… Got a few sinews and muscles to him as well. Is your ending rush because you don’t quite know how you want it to end? Or because you don’t want it to, and have to rip the plaster off- so to speak? Haha

      1. I never know how it will end. The story heads off in directions of its own way before the end. The Pathfinders started off with a central character, who carried the story to a crucial point close to the end, that I completely scrapped, changing the entire story line.

  5. Good on you Shaun. 8000 words in is a huge effort and start and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with writing a skeleton. It’s the main frame of the story. When you first start writing you just go for it, don’t check for grammar, don’t second guess yourself, just write. I do the same when I’m writing articles for magazines. There’s time later to come back and do the editing. the most important part is getting the heart of the story down before you lose it. Or in this case the skeleton. Keep going and enjoy. 🙂

    1. That’s exactly right, and exactly what I needed to learn! I found that I soon lost my passion for the story… But it’s becuase I was trying to do it all at once! When I just got on with actually writing, going back to add more later, I found I made tons more progress. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  6. This is an interesting one Shaun and I sometimes think it may be linked to our personality. I’ve read numerous books on how to write and they all vary in their advice. When I am writing I throw all my thoughts down on paper. From there I start to draft. A 100 word poem could begin life as a 1500 word paper rant. I think you have to work with what you feel comfortable with. Nice post by the way.

    1. Thanks for commenting Davy. I think your last line sums it up! Working with what you feel comfortable is the best way; I think you can learn all the tips in the world but, if they don’t work for you then they just don’t work for you! Great to have an insight into the drafting stages of the great Davy D as well 😉

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