Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Which I Scene Block

I finished scene-blocking Foxfire. I had a lot of fun and it's the first time I've tried it. Always before I thought it seemed like a useless exercise because I write in a linear fashion, so there's certainly no reason for me to move scenes around - that would mess up the plot something fierce.

But for Foxfire, I knew I needed to add a few scenes here or there and more importantly I needed to list out all the scenes to try and figure out where the chapter breaks fall (since I do not write with chapters in mind).

Here's the results:

The green notes (though they look a bit yellow in the pic) are scenes from MC Fox's POV while the pink ones are scenes from MC Quill's POV.

The blue ones are scenes from any other characters (of which include 2 antagonists and 4 other minor characters)

Counting the Prologue (which will be cut) and the epilogue I have 24 chapters, though I plan on combining some of those single scene chapters or adding another scene here or there.

The gaps are chapter breaks and though some of them look much much longer than the others, some of the scenes are only a page or two, especially with that long chapter towards the right. Also that one might need to be broken up a bit.

I need a blue card earlier in the story and also I think I need to break up that long pink Quill stretch, but we'll see.

It's kind of neat, seeing my story structure in a physical manner.

Does anyone else do any scene-blocking during revisions?

Also here is the answer to yesterday's post:

1. I have had a menagerie of pets, including squirrels, ducks, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils, hamsters, chameleons, fish and raccoons

This one is a lie. I've never had a raccoon

2. My favorite vegetable is carrots

No thanks on carrots. Unless they come from my own garden. Then they taste delicious

3. I've broken my clavicle twice

DING DING! This one is the true one! I broke it when i was an infant when my mom tripped and fell over a garden hose while carrying Twin and I. The second time Twin broke it when were were 6 and wrestling

4. I hate watching Supernatural

This one is an obvious bold faced lie. There is nothing to even dislike about this show

5. One of my favorite places to shop is Wal-Mart

Nope. I avoid it at all costs

6. I really don't like to play boggle

Lie! Who doesn't like to play boggle? I even had it on my phone

7. I've been to Italy, Austria and France

I've been to Italy and Austria but not France.

So there you have it! Congrats to anyone who guessed correctly!


Jen said...

I love the post-its and how you have them broken up! I think I need to implement this idea into my writing!

Falen said...

Go for it! It's really fun!

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

I've been making scene index cards for my current WIP. I like it. There are some other things that are going to help flesh things out that I've picked up from several other writing books. I'll post about it next week. Great post though!


and you're right, there's nothing to dislike about Supernatural...except maybe that it's not real. :(

Falen said...

indeed. indeed. Or that there's not enough episodes. But yeah, the real thing is a bummer.

And how the heck did you change your profile name?

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

It's in settings. :)

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

No, wait, edit profile.

Falen said...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was close on my guess.

Never scene-blocked. That appears almost more ambitious than actually writing!

Southpaw said...

I've not tried the scene blocking. I'd like to know how you feel about the process when you're all done.

Noelle Nolan said...

Great idea! :)

Teebore said...

Wow, scene blocking seems like the kind of organizational thing I'd love! I've never done it (at least not outside my head) but I might have to give it a short sometime.

I particularly like the color coding. While my NaNo book is all from the perspective of one character, I could use the colored post its to map out the ratio of present chapters/flashbacks/news articles. It might also come in handy for Fate Lost.

I shoulda known the clavicle thing was true. That was a part of me that wondered if you'd broken it THREE times, and changed it to two to make a lie. Ah well.

Also, I hate playing boggle because it's one of those games I feel like I should be better at than I am. So it makes me feel stupid. Thus, I don't like playing it.

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

Usually I'm pretty good with story organization, but I have one wip that doesn't seem to want to be written until I block it out like that. They're helpful, especially if there's a lot going on in the story. Liquid Story Binder has a function that does this too, if you're ever looking for a good writing program (yay shameless plug!).

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

@M.R.J. Le Blanc- Thank you for putting that on there. I've been looking for a computer program for writers. I'm gonna check that out!!

Piedmont Writer said...

I love that scene blocking idea. That looks fantastic! Now I guess I'll have to try that too. Will you please stop doing all these groovy things on your book, I'm such a copy-cat!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

How have I not been following your blog? You sound like my story twin!

My WIP would prob look a lot like yours if I scene-blocked it. I too have multiple POVs.

I agree with your Lovely Bones comment. Big time.

And I will email you the title of the book that caused the unicorn analogy. ;)

Falen said...

Alex - it was pretty fun, but it took me over two days because i'd do a chunk and then get tired and need a break

Southpaw - i feel pretty good about it. I'm a visual person so it helps. At the very least it helps me get a better handle on chapter breaks

Noelle - i wish i could take credit for it, but alas...

Teebore - yeah as i was doing it i kept thinking that it was an excercise that would be right up your alley for your nano book.
I almost always win when we play boggle, so i suppose that helps my love

MRJ - i have not heard of Liquid Story Binder - i shall have to check it out

Hannah - i have dramatica Pro - if i can find the disk, you can certainly borrow it. I don't like it so much because it relies heavily on the Hero's journey structure which i'm not crazy about

Piedmont - copy all you want! If i didn't want to share, i wouldn't blog about it (instead i woudl just keep the ideas clutched in my fingers and mutter incoherently...)

Karen - no worries! I was a late comer to your blog as well.
OOOh i'm now super excited to get my email!

Teebore said...

I must of sort of worked...I got your first comment via email.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I LOVE the post-it notes laid out like that - brilliant! The picture really helps make it clear. Thanks, Falen! :-)

Falen said...

Teebore - yeah it showed up later so i deleted it. le sigh

Shannon - thanks! I thought a picture might help

DL Hammons said...

That is a totally awesome way to organize scenes and I plan on incorporating that method into my next book. TANKS!!

And....Boo-yah...I totally nailed your truth! Yay me. :)

sarahjayne smythe said...

Ok. I really love this idea and I am totally trying it. :) It just looks so cool.

Falen said...

DL - no problem! i actually wish i had a few more colors, so i could separate the minor character POVs as well, but what can you do?

Sarahjayne - it was certainly fun to do. I listed the # of pages, the scene #, the first and last sentence of the scene and then a one sentance description

Helen Ginger said...

I like the layout of your scenes. It does help to be able to see it, especially when you color code!

Straight From Hel

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

@Falen and Hannah - definitely check it out. It's got a lot of handy features, which you don't have to always use but it's nice to have them there and you can customize it quite a bit.

Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...

I have downloaded the trial version and am playing with it right now. I like what I'm seeing.

SonshineMusic said...

I love that way of laying stuff out. Hmmm... maybe I'll try that with my IR novel I'm stuck on...

Al said...

Nope I am definitely not going to lie things out like that.
Far too organised for a fly by the seater, like me.


Publish or Perish

VR Barkowski said...

I would love to do this, but I can't write in scenes. I tried it with my second novel and ended up reverting to chapters. It is beautiful though.

Falen said...

Helen - yeah i was quite pleased with how the color coding worked

Sonshine - DO IT! seriously though, it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. and it's pretty!

Al - but all the pretty colors!

VR - i'm jealous of the fact that you can write in chapters. it makes organizing things much easier

Lola Sharp said...

Anne, as you know, sent us here to check this post out...dude(ette), this is full of awesome!!

I'm NOT an outliner. I'm a very character driven (NOT plot driven) literary fiction writer. This has never been an issue before. Until now.
The characters in my latest WIP sort of took the story to a suspense/thriller/mystery slant...which requires a lot of plot lines to keep straight and connect and...
yipes! I'm stuggling a bit to make it all work and ring plausable/true.

I really think I am going to try this...I'm analog by nature and post-it notes totally work for me. (pretty colorful post-it notes, at that.)

Thank you!!

(I just added you to my feed reader...I'm having some wierd 'follow' google glitch at the moment, but I can follow better in my feed reader anyway. So I'm here, following you in my own way)


Falen said...

Lola - thanks for stopping by! Yeah the color-coding really seemed to help me a lot. Otherwise i would have had to break out a lot of different colored highlighters

Dawn Kurtagich said...

Yours is so neat and pretty!! :D

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