So last week, I introduced the October Short Story Course that I plan to do throughout this month (http://jchasestories.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/writing-wednesdays-october-short-story.html for the less focused among you) and laid out the plans for the first ten days, by the end of which you have your main characters and setting sorted, and have begun to work on the plot. Today, we'll be looking at days eleven to twenty one. As I said, the end goal of this project is to have a short story of about ten thousand words from nothing within the course of November.
Every day I will be putting up my work on tumblr at jchasestories.tumblr.com, and mentioning what I've been up to on twitter. Now, on with the course:
Write between two to four of your scenes from yestarday out in name: *action* format, i.e.
Samuel: *opens door to see Oliver sat on the couch* You stayed then?
Oliver: *glances up* I guess. Something wrong?
Samuel: Yeh... *walks over* Look, about last night...
Try and ensure you make the scene long enough to generate an amount of interaction, and decide which of the scenes is your favorite. Go back to your character profiles, and adapt them if necessary.
Write your favourite scene from yesterday out in full, trying to keep it dynamic and interesting - aim for a minimum of 500 words.
Draw out a table (using MS Word, XMiind, MS Excel, paper or whatever else you find helpful) with each major event in your plot on a new row. Give each of your main characters a column, and fill in how they feel and respond to each development.
Choose a song for each character, and make a note of why. Write 50-100 words about each character's development over the plot, and how you feel about them - are they alive to you?
Write in character, having each character explain what happened in the scene from the 12th in their own voice (If any characters weren't involve, just show how they would report it if they had been there). This gives you the opportunity to get to grips with each character's dialogue, attitude, accent, truthfulness etc. With this, and the work from the sixth, choose your point of view to work from.
Today's the day you have been waiting for (or dreading) - we start writing the story. Aim for about 700 words every day. Alongside this, side projects will run daily, helping you to fully flesh out and develop your characters. Today's side project: do a personality test, answering as each of your main characters (I'll probably do http://personality-testing.info/tests/OEJTS/). Do the results you get surprise you?
Writing - approximately 700 words. Today's side project: Which animal do you think each of your characters would be and why? 50-100 words for each, try not to get too hung up on detail, or to be too predictable.
Writing - approximately 700 words. Today's side project: Write a brief timeline for each character, working out the age they are when key events occur, and the effect these events have on their personalities.
Writing - approximately 700 words. Today's side project: Describe one of your main character's living spaces (and work spaces if applicable) in 50-250 words. What do they have there? What does it mean to the character? What is their favorite possession? What is most precious to them? What do they wish they had? Is there anything that they wish wasn't there?
Writing - approximately 700 words. Today's side project: Repeat the side project from the nineteenth, picking out a different character's life to explore. Be careful to consider how the character's personality affects their living space.
Day Twenty One:
Writing - approximately 700 words. Today's side project: Unsurprisingly, we are doing the same as for the previous two days, for the last remaining main character.