Adding Details

I’m making quite a lot of progress on my story outline for the NaNoWriMo, and I’ll tell you about it, but first a bit of music:

I’m putting a new mix-set together to help with inspiration for the story, and I’m using this track as the seed. I’m trying to pick out music that fits with it and follows the theme, and so far I have a real good feeling about it. This could be great.

And now, about that story…

To the surprise of absolutely no one, there has been some changes to the story since last I wrote about it. The basic concept is still the same. Kala is still alone. It’s still cold and dark and miserable – perhaps even more so.

A lot of details have changed though.

I’ve split up the story into four different acts, kishotenketsu style. There’s an introduction, an elaboration, a complication, and a reconciliation – as it’s meant to be, as I like it. Hopefully I’ll pull it off a bit better this time than last (I tried it in Toini Comes Home and I’m not sure it worked out very well).

After I split up the story into acts I wrote down a list of events that will take place during each act. This stage is fairly dull, as I know the major events already and the events I add in between them don’t add that much to the story. It’s stuff like “the village mourns their dead” or “Kala goes hunting a lot” which really doesn’t say too much, but which is still needed to bridge the gaps between the bigger, more important events.

The next step is where the fun begins…

It’s where I describe the events in more detail, and I got started on that last night. This still isn’t the story itself. It’s more of a description of what’s happening during an event, or what the scenes describing the event will really be about.

I’m taking what’s just one or two sentences and rewriting them in more detail – usually a few paragraphs of text. This gets me thinking about the little details that bring the world and the story to life. As an example, my first description of the second “event” of the story – after Kala’s father’s boat does not come back – reads something along the lines of:

The village mourns the deaths of those lost at sea.

2016-03-25 18.12.57
Photo unrelated to story.

That’s it. It’s not much. It’s not exciting. In fact, it sounds kind of dull.

I sat down to think about it though, trying to figure out how this could be described in the story. I realized there had to be some kind of funeral or memorial ceremony, and I realized that this would be an opportunity to show just how deeply Kala is affected by the loss of her family and her betrothed.

So I had to come up with some kind of memorial service for the villagers to perform, and something for Kala to do to make an impression on the villagers.

…and all of a sudden I have two scenes that could both of them be quite interesting in the way they establish the world and the main character. It’s once again the magic of writing at play. Ideas just turn up and add themselves to the story. It’s amazing when that happens.


Adding Details

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