Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond (birdhousefrog) wrote,
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond

3x5 Cards

I originally laid out the scenes for the Gen Ship story in Scrivener 3x5 cards. I like using them. I like being able to reorder them by clicking and dragging. I haven't yet tried doing anything underneath, but I guess I could. Then I wrote out the 3x5 cards on, well, 3x5 cards. In four colors. With no rhyme or reason beyond using each color in order for what I thought was the story's order. There is no "Taos Toolbox Walter Jon Williams' each character or POV in a different color" system to this.

On the drive home from Nahant, the Dude invited me to give him the outline verbally. This was at some point when the weather was clear, the traffic relatively light, and the roads fairly dry. I got out my 3x5 cards. I had rearranged some of the scenes already but in talking it out, I realized I might need to do a bit more rearranging. The Dude felt I hadn't yet got my character wants sorted out, but I had. I then told him the old story synopsis and he agreed that was a very bad dead end of nothing and, by comparison, this was a full story arc.

Which led me to talk about my f'ing brilliant opening scene. The one I've edited to sheer brilliance over the past couple of years. The one that Sets It All Up. Only I had this niggling fear that it didn't do that anymore now that I had the arc and the wants sorted out. The Dude smiled at the idea that my scene is f'ing brilliant, but I tell you truly it is brilliant. F'ing brilliant. No scene that I've written has ever been more brilliant. I would say no scene ever written by anyone, but that would be, you know, egotistical of me. I'm sure there are several more brilliantly written scenes out there.

The upshot of voicing this concern was the realization that the f'ing brilliant scene is no longer the opening scene. That it must, in fact, be moved and modified. What was one of my Tiptree-esque openings where the reader was completely in the dark about where he/she was and would remain in the dark for most of the story has been changed. At least the way I'm seeing it now. It could change yet again. I have currently opted to focus on three competing sets of wants and about three puzzle issues and it currently seems better to not obfuscate matters further. Maybe. I reserve the right to change my mind yet again.

And today I'm shuffling my 3x5 cards yet again in light of my realization that the brilliantly-written first scene must be moved. It's windy outside. It's cold outside. But there's a bit of sun, a nice fire going and I have 3x5 cards to play with.

Frog Out
Tags: genship stories, helen, writing

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