All right, I’m a month into the serialization of Persona and I have to admit that I’m loving it. There is a lot more work involved given that I’m having to write and edit all in the same week, but for some reason this process is really working for me.
A typical week goes something like this;
Monday – Review/edit the chapter meant to go up on Tuesday. Write 1k words on the new chapter. (I have a 6 chapter buffer so I’ll never be late.)
Tuesday – Stagger out of bed around 5:45 AM, review the chapter to go up one more time. Post on Blogger and Wattpad. Announce on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. The rest of the writing day (I do have a full time job I have to go to) is spent writing on the newest chapter.
Wednesday – Type up new chapter and print it out.
Thursday – Edit.
Friday – Edit and then save in several places (because I’m terrified of something happening and then not having the post up on time.)
Saturday and Sunday I don’t write at all. I enjoy time with my son. (We’re totally going to the Zoo today.)
Now, I’m going to go ahead and admit that this process would not work if I hadn’t made an outline of the book months ago. That outline has been edited and revamped several times due to research — my character gets to survive a bombing in the town she’s residing that I didn’t know about when I first wrote the outline — so it looks kind of messy.
But this outline is also far different from anything I’ve ever used before.
Instead of using plot points to guide me through the chapters, I’ve used character arc points. Remember that Persona is my “Who am I?” story, so every scene is following Megan as she grows and learns more about who she really is.
Much of Chapters 1 – 4 are things happening to Megan that are beyond her control, such as the boat sinking and who picked her up, but her reactions to these problems are just as important as when she finally gets to start taking action.
And, in truth, she started taking action in Chapter 3 when she chose to lie. But she doesn’t really see that in herself yet.
Anyway, the outline has two columns. The first column is the normal process. (And for some reason I still use Roman Numerals when I’m doing this.) It shows physical action, things that need to happen or things I need to point to that have already happened to help keep a sense of fluidity within the book.
The second column is all about the arc. Such as Megan’s confusion of loyalties. Her mother was German, after all, and she’s not the sort of person to go picking up a gun and choosing one side over another. She sees too many real people in front of her to allow for that. This causes a lot of conflict for her.
When she’s confronted by the POW — Sam Layton, by the way. If you’re following the serialization then you’ll get to meet him soon — she is also confronted by the fact that she has to choose a side.
That’s a major arc point.
Anyway, so far it is a lot of fun. I’m a little nervous for next month since I have a couple of new classes starting. Yay for summer school! But I do have that 6 chapter buffer to sustain me.