I bit the bullet last week and started on the skeleton of ‘the c-word’.
Character will always grow out of plot, while plot almost never begets character. So I started with a loose outline, made a list of characters and fleshed them out. Just a few broad strokes – one character’s irritating laugh, another’s obsession with fellatio, another one’s ability to appear – without speaking to anyone – in the most unexpected places.
I completed the characters’ sketches on friday and immediately began filling in the gaps in the plot – which now seemed simple, armed with how each character would behave in any given situation.
I’m now about one third of the way through the plot (working from the end, backwards) to try to catch as many logic bombs as possible before I sit down and scrawl this thing from start to finish.
I’m doing this draft on trains, in cafes, in pubs, short bursts, anything to keep it as bitty as possible.
I want it to seem fragmented, broken up, chaotic. Like life is.
I’m enjoying the way everything’s falling into place. Because I’m starting from characters, how they behave and react is coming out easy, like a post guinness dump.
Interestingly, I haven’t given anyone names yet. It’s all, ‘woman with a huge collection of beanie babies and no boyfriend’ and ‘shy monosyllabic gay guy’. I’ll hand out names before the next draft, but for now, everybody’s ‘just’ their plot function.
Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)
A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.