End of 12 Weeks

Well, that was fairly productive, but the draft still looks pretty rough as far as transitions go. The worst sections date from when I was listening to a “writing coach” and following the rules of The Hero’s Journey.

The boy-protagonist is itching to answer the Call to Adventure; he’s dead if he doesn’t. The girl-protagonist is refusing the (mandatory) Call to School, erm, Adventure and casting her as boy-protagonist’s “mentor” had her monologuing. (Or traveloguing.)

12-Week Challenge: Oh, I give up!

This week, I wrote a paragraph. 150 words. I also removed 400 words from a chapter.

Then I realized that an altercation between girl-protagonist and the local bullies is probably too suggestive… of violence. While she’s wrestling with one bully, another begins prying up a cobblestone to smash her skull. This creates the tipping-point for boy-protagonist to intervene; he’d rather avoid fisticuffs with goblins.

Getting from there to the next plot-point…. well, it seems abrupt to me.

12-Week Challenge: 2021 Week Four

Week 4. Boy-protagonist got the wind knocked out of his sails. Girl-protagonist is going to leave home, which she dreaded, but not according to the plan of The Grown-ups. (It’s not capitalized in the book, but The Grown-ups are collectively her antagonist.)

In dialogue, Favius (aka boy-protagonist) revealed his ambition to Argenta (girl-protagonist). I tweaked Chapter 1 such that his goal is clearly stated without an “authorial voice” pronouncement.

An aside: During this do-it-myself 12-week course, self-pacing is a mixed bag. Nobody holds me accountable; therefore, a “deadline” is a moveable goal. On the other hand, I can jump ahead when I achieve my weekly goal.

12-Week Challenge: 2021 Week Four-ish

I’m supposed to be in Week Six, but Week Two became 1.5 and every subsequent rewritten chapter took longer than expected.

Partly, it was the mechanics of plot-and-phrasing.

Partly, it was my refusal to curtail my social life, including two “lost weekends” of the non-drunk variety: a funeral and a wedding. I also had the honor of being voted “Mrs. Mascot” by the Young Humans at The Young Human Factory. In addition to accompanying “Mr. Mascot” at the football game, I chaperoned the Homecoming Dance.

So now I’m in Week 4. Barely. The protagonists have yet to discover the situation is worse than they thought aka the Rude Awakening.

12-Week Challenge: Week One

This week’s focus was “Normal Life: As the protagonists know it.”

Ironically, real normal life went out the window. Storms knocked out electricity and the Internet from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening, followed by a power loss Saturday morning and brief black-outs Sunday.

To be blunt, I couldn’t access my novel, so I didn’t reach my goal.

The first two chapters are nearly perfect, including their titles: The Boy Who Wanted to Leave and The Girl Who Wanted to Stay. They set the pattern of switching points when the protagonists are separated.

The third chapter, which throws Favius into peril, is short and fast.

However, the fourth chapter is too long. I can distill Argenta’s actions into later dialogue, but it’s crucial to keep her interactions with key supporting characters. The reader needs to know them before Favius meets them – which is coming up.

Week Two: September 27

Inciting event for boy-protagonist. Meeting of protagonists. Inciting event for girl-character.

12-Week Challenge: 2021 Fall Final Draft

I won’t lie: I based this challenge on a real course. While looking for professional advice for polishing the Book One draft, I received a friend-of-a-friend recommendation. Unfortunately, the course is for a FIRST draft (not Draft 3.2) and conflicts with my work schedule.

The syllabus emphasized plot-structure pacing. According to the instructor, plot points and/or conflicts occur about 4,000 words apart. Therefore, Week One has a lecture about The Hook (the reader’s emotional engagement) and requires students to write a lead-in to the first plot-point.

I got a silly vision of handing my boy-protagonist a weekly schedule and saying, “This is what I need you to do.” (The girl-protagonist would promptly flip the paper over to draw pictures.)

Yet that’s what I’m doing. Here’s my 12-week challenge schedule, and theme of the particular plot point or conflict.

Week One: September 20

Normal Life. As the protagonists know it.

Week Two: September 27

Inciting event for boy-protagonist. Meeting of protagonists. Inciting event for girl-character.

Week Three: October 4

Temporary Shelter. Protagonists think antagonist is thwarted and her problem will resolve itself.

Week Four: October 11

Rude awakening. Protagonists look to each other for help as situation is worse than thought.

Week Five: October 18

Separation 1. This is the “ditching the adults” part of children’s novels.

Week Six: October 25

The Crossroads.

Week Seven: November 1

The Breather. Aftermath of previous decision/loss.

Week Eight: November 8

Picking Up the Pace. Two chapters in which protagonists can’t address the ramifications of one conflict before another begins. Their goals clash. characters can’t properly address the ramifications of one conflict before another begins)

Week Nine: November 15

Hard Decisions. Separation of the protagonists.

Week Ten: November 22

Darkest Night. Separate chapters for each protagonist, each with an unexpected twist.

Week Eleven: November 29

The Climactic Sequence.  

Week Twelve: December 6

What happened afterwards; lead-in to next book.