Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Friday, 07 November 2003

Yet another fresh start on my zeppelin story. This one is different, though--now I have a detailed outline.

This morning, I thought about why I was struggling so much with this story. It was slow and draggy in spots. I needed to hit the high points of the story and stop fiddling around with just getting the hero from one place to another. I decided that an outline was needed.The form of the outline should obviously be the hero's journey. (What else for a pulp adventure story?) And thinking about the structure of the hero's journey made me realize that the structure of my first scenes were all wrong.

So, I made a detailed outline. With just a tiny bit of rejiggering, my story hits just about every point along the hero's journey, but I left out quite a bit of what I'd already written. In particular, all the early references to minor problems for the hero that turned out not to have anything to do with the central story are gone. In their place is just a bit of establishment of the character flaws that will have to be overcome for the hero to take his leap of faith at the climax. And, of course, a bit about the impending war and the threat from the agents of the Dauphin.

The last story I tried to outline according to the hero's journey was the unsuccessful neolupe story that was my first Clarion story. The result there was unsatisfactory enough that I don't think I've tried it again since. This time, I'm pretty excited with what I've got.

I'm at about 2600 words, so a net gain of 100 or so for the day, but it's actually at least 1000 words of new text. I'm both much happier with what I've got and rather farther along in the story than I was.

The hero is just about to face the second attack on his life in two days.


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