The blog for The Solitaire Rose Experience. Yes, the blog revolution is utterly and completely over. However, I haven't figured that out yet, so I'll be listing articles, ideas, links, and other internet debris. Now, you can join in! And be mocked mercilessly!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Nanowrimo day 6 - 8


I'm still ahead, but I didn't write Friday, and only wrote a little more than the 1667 daily goal for Saturday and Sunday. Friday was just too busy a day, what with working most of the morning and afternoon, and then getting home in time to go to the gym, eat a sandwich and no next to nothing before going to bed early for an early work day Saturday.

Saturday, I got off of work early, and it was BEAUTIFUL I did what I could to enjoy it. That's right, I stayed inside, worked on getting things off of the Tivo, went to the gym and then came home and wrote. Sunday I spent a bit more time actually WATCHING things I had on the Tivo, then took my son and roommate to see “The Men Who Stare At Goats” before getting my words in. The movie was fun for me, mostly because it WASN'T written in the three act structure that everything seems to be constructed in.

Oh, it probably was, and if I sat down with it for a while, I could probably break it down into that structure, but it wasn't SCREAMING that structure like, say, “Whip It” which is almost a primer on how to put together a three act structure.

And for those of you who don't know the three act structure, here's a quick layout of it:

Act One:

-Introduce characters and setting
-Inciting incident

This is usually shown in movies as a dad rushing around for breakfast, kissing the kids and having the wife remind him of something as he rushes out the door. Once he gets outside, SOMETHING happens. Aliens invade, the car blows up, his wife starts shooting at ninjas...and there you go, Act One is done.

Act Two:

-Complications ensue
-Adversaries are in motion
-Ends with the destruction of the plans of the protagonist

This is usually shown in movies with the hero putting together his team, finding out what they are doing, seeing how big their plan is, and then they try to take him out, nearly succeeding...this is also when the wife/buddy/cop with three days until retirement is killed to add drama.

Act Three:

-Protagonist finds the solution to his problem in the rubble of his destroyed plans.
-Protagonist makes a profound change, learns a lesson or the gun in the beginning of act one is used to kill the antagonist.

Am I following it? Yes, but that's because I'm writing genre fiction set in a setting unfamiliar to the reader. I'm also using the Noir/Crime novel storytelling style which has some tropes of their own, and while I'm not subverting them, I am hoping that I am constructing things in such a way that when they show up, they feel fresh.

Also, with the crime/detective novel, the reader is putting together a puzzle that you've constructed, so if you are doing it well, you can keep a step ahead of them in the construction of the story. It's also why character and setting are so important. You aren't writing something so brand new that you have the freshness of the fact you use the format and tropes because the rules help the reader along.

In the crime novels I've liked, a lot of the reason to read them is character, setting and what the writer can do within the genre. I LOVE the Travis McGee novels because of the characters, setting and writing. The plots are pretty much standard boilerplate, but I don't care, it's a clothesline to hang the writing and ideas on.

Personal stuff? Well, I had a job interview on Thursday that I think went well. I am back to the job hunt tomorrow morning when I wake up (was just too tired and burned out on it to do it over the weekend). I am regaining my sense of calm now that I now WHY I have been losing it over the last couple of months, and actually feel a bit better about being myself than I have in a while.

So, novel status? Still ahead of schedule, and I'm actually wondering if I can beat my previous record of reaching 50000 words in 25 days...


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