Monday, November 15, 2010

Identity: 1 year later and storyboarding

So it's been a while. Sad to say, I've been frightfully busy, what with being in the first year of a graduate program now. I've had too many weeks I've pulled multiple all nighters to get things done, alas, so the writing has taken a bit of a slow down. In hindsight, I'm somewhat surprised I was able to maintain the pace that I did over the spring and summer.

It's now been a year or so since I published the first chapter of Identity. A lot's changed since then. When I started working on it that July, I thought, oh, I'd do another story like Echoes. Chapters around ten thousand words or so. The whole story would be, more or less, no more than 200-250 thousand words. Something I could do in a year, maybe more, maybe less.

It suffices to say that 5 chapters of Identity so far are clocking in at almost 172 thousand words. Surprising, at least to me, but we do what feels right, and no two stories want to be told the same way. Or at least, that's how I look at it. In the time since I started publishing acts or sections or whatever you want to call them by themselves, I've come to like the structure of that. Yeah, you have to take a page from Dickens and write to cliffhangers or suspenseful moments, but it works. Or I like it. One of the two.

Right now, I'm just hoping to finish chapter six. Truth be told, not a lot of the chapter is actually written in the strictest sense. I've been trying a technique I call storyboarding, borrowed from the more conventional use of the term. In practice, it's more like a much extended, much more detailed outline. The boards I have for the acts right now are coming in between 1700 and 3000 words, so I expect they'll end up being half the size of an act. Some of them have whole scenes' dialogue written out, which will only require a little tweaking, but most of the narrative glue, as I like to call it, is just broad-stroked and will require actual "doing," so to speak. In this way, I hope the boards will help me work out plot details first, so when writing writing I can focus on flow, rhythm, devices---all the other things that aren't plot. So far, I've got five acts boarded; I only expect there to be two more to do, but as always, we'll have to see.

Right now, I'm just planning to write out all of chapter six, and once that's done, start posting it. While that's posting on a weekly basis, I hope to board and write up chapter seven, then start plotting out part two, which will require significant tweaking given how much I've let the story evolve itself during part one. Thus, I expect another hiatus after seven's done, but given the length of six, that could easily be two or two-and-a-half months after six starts posting.

Anyway, here's the writing again.

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