I started to work on my revised Sharkbiter video, but then I decided to concentrate on Bright Freedom instead. The project started as a film script a couple years ago, so I am converting the script into a novella. I got another 5,600 words done. One more session and I am done the first draft. I hope.
It will need a lot more work before I have something I feel I can publish. I do need to do some more background research. It should be easier to identify what I need to find out if I have a draft of the story.
I just read The Joy of Writing by Pierre Berton. Although it is mostly about writing non-fiction, it got me to think differently about this story.
Berton’s rule number 16 is to always describe the people. My characters are fictional, but, in the past, I have sought out images that I can use to visualize them. I picked someone to be Bright Freedom. I won’t say who I picked, but she just jumped into my mind as soon as I started to ponder who I could use. I haven’t given as much thought to the other characters as I wrote, so it is harder to visualize them.
I think I have too many characters and maybe too many subplots. I eliminated one character so far. She only had one scene and was mentioned a couple of times in other scenes, so it wasn’t hard to cut her out. I did lose a scene I liked though.
I have several characters that only play a small part, so I think it may make sense to merge them into other characters. I think I’ll need to build up some of the characters so they contribute more to the story.
I have five plot lines now and thought I might add another. In a previous, failed, script I ran into a problem where I added so many side stories, that people who read the outline thought one of the subplots was the main plot. As an exercise, I thought that I might try to split off all of the subplots into separate stories. That should help me focus on the core story. I plan to reintegrate the subplots later.
The core of the story is composed of two of the plot lines and can’t be separated because they are so intertwined with each other. One of the subplots is almost nonexistent now, but I think I can integrate it into the main story line. The other subplots are really to show the internal conflict that Bright faces because what she does and says in those stories contrasts with what she does and says in the main story.
After I have this first draft done, I will leave it for a while. I already have ideas for additional scenes. There are structural changes I’d like to make. I can see that I’ll need at least one more draft to take care of those additions. Then I want to do a draft where I flesh out the story with descriptive detail. I’ll likely need to do another draft to clean up the wording.
I want to get some input from people when I reach that point. In particular, since the main character is a woman, I want to see how women feel about what I’ve done. If you’re a woman and would like to help, please let me know.