Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Scene Index Example: Ready-made Family and Giveaway
This post is in reference to my Preparing for a Writing Spree Plotstorming (my character-driven plotting), my Character Chart Template and Ready-Made Family Character Chart Example posts on 12/16, 1/20 and 2/17.
Last month I promised to share a Scene Index Example for my upcoming April, 2009 release, Ready-Made Family from Steeple Hill Love Inspired. You can preorder it now on most online booksellers. (See Purchase Links below.) Might be a good reference to have if you find these articles helpful.
Why I do a scene index:
--To be sure I have three reasons for a scene.
--Also, having a scene index helps me stay on track when I’m rough drafting the book which I have sold to the publisher on proposal. Since they offered contract on the book from the synopsis, I need to deliver the book as the editors envisioned it from my synopsis.
--Scene indexing enables me to write a rough draft in an extremely short amount of time. Usually under a week. Note: this method will not work for everyone and most people do not write that fast. So don't think you're some kind of freak of nature if it takes you months or years to complete a rough draft. That's actually more normal.
--Scene indexing assures me that I have my W’s (who, what, where, when and why) clear for the reader.
--Scene indexing makes synopsis writing easier if I do the scene index prior to the novel writing.
--Scene indexing works for me because I tend to see the story unfolding in scenes and therefore I tend to write in scenes. Being a panster, sometimes I do not complete a scene index before the book. But I always have around 5-7 scenes solidly in mind that I try to write down. I don't necessarily number the scenes until I know for sure where they'll fall. I normally always know my opening scene.
SCENE INDEX READY-MADE FAMILY
The numbers are the scene or chapter. For instance:
1=C1S1 would mean Book scene #1, Chapter #1, Scene #1 in Chapter 1.
I color code scene blue or black for the hero and red or pink for scenes in heroine's POV. This enables me to make sure I don't stay in one character's POV too long or too little time.
Since I'm not certain the color coding will come through, I will put in parentheses whose POV the scene is targeted to be written in.
You will see a varying amount of information written for each scene.
1=C1S1- (BENS POV)-PARKING LOT SCENE: Little girl approaches Ben in parking lot saying her mommy (unconscious) needs help. Intro lead male. Establish setting. Launch external conflict.
2=C1S2-(AMELIA’S POV)-HOSPITAL SCENE: Amelia wakes in hospital to find a male stranger holding her sleeping daughter. [Intros heroine. Endears her to readers. Establishes attraction. Reveals heroine’s internal conflict.]
3=C1S3- DOCTOR’S OFFICE SCENE (DELETED) [external conflict. Internal conflict. Sympathizes Amelia to reader. Ramps tension]
4=C2S1- DRIVE TO ST LOUIS SCENE [more deeply characterizes Ben]
5=C2S2 NISSA HOUSE SCENE [external conflict]
6=C3S1 HUNT FOR JOB SCENE [external conflict]
7=C3S2 DRIVE BACK TO REFUGE BEARBY MIA SCENE
8=C3S3 BEN DRIVES THEM HOME AND GOES TO GET THE BEAR
9=C3S4 HUTTON FREAKS OUT SCENE
10=C4S1 PARK SCENE (shows growing romance)
And onward all the way to the last scene in the book.
You'll see in the first couple of scenes that I have listed briefly in same format the reasons for the scene or what I've accomplished in the scene. (Intro character. Establish setting. Reveal story goals. Reveal motivation. Establish attraction. First meeting hero/heroine. First Kiss. Etc)
I try to summarize in one line or sentence what happens in the scene. My indexes are a schedule of events. I turn it into a synopsis eventually. I average 60 scenes with an average of 20 chapters per book and 3 scenes per chapter. I always have at least 3 reasons for a scene.
Plotters, you can do a scene index before you write. Pansters, you can complete one after you write the novel if you wish. Some publishers require a chapter by chapter summary, so the scene index would be handy to have in that event.
This concludes the Plotstorming (my plotting for pansters) Tutorials having to do with Ready-Made Family.
Since I've tortured anti-chart people for 4 posts, I'm giving away 4 copies of this book. Leave a note with a valid e-mail address in the comment section by Midnight CST March 20th to be entered for a chance to win. You may want to put brackets around the [@] sign in your address so Net spider bots don't phish your address.
If you don't happen to win, Ready-Made Family releases in stores (Wal-mart, Target, Barnes and Noble and anywhere books are sold) April 1, 2009...that's less than two weeks!
It can be pre-ordered at most online booksellers as well. Below are some purchase links for your convenience.
Barnes and Noble