First POV Complete

Today I finished the first draft for the first POV arc.

(That means my overall first draft is ~1/3 finished. My previous analogy of Pulp Fiction is somewhat inaccurate. A better analogy might be Cryptonomicon, if I finished the modern day arc and wanted to go back to write the 2 main World War 2 arcs later.)

I’m pretty happy about it.

Safe ally

I dropped the protagonist in the middle of a conflict ridden world. But one of her allies is always there for her, always supports her, always says or does the reasonable thing in a selfless way.

This ally has to go. When I’m trying to ramp up tension and conflict and throw rocks at my protagonist up a tree, this ally makes my job harder.

I have another side character, an opponent, who needs fleshing out. He sometimes sides with the protagonist but has his own agenda. I’m going to combine these two characters. This single step will both flesh out the opponent and turn the rock solid ally into someone with ulterior motives, who may be deceiving the protagonist to get what he wants.

This will also turn a complex three-way standoff into a two-way tug-of-war, eliminating the neutral third party, simplifying my setting.

Everybody’s got something to hide

Besides enhancing the mystery, adding more hidden ulterior motives and deception also enhances the political intrigue and power struggle aspects of the story.

McKee agrees with me

I spent a lot of time outlining, and now I’m planning on throwing a lot of that work away. This worried me a bit. I consoled myself by reminding myself that I’m still inexperienced, still learning, still growing.

Last night I was reading Robert McKee’s Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting. He says:

If your finished screenplay contains every scene you’ve ever written, if you’ve never thrown an idea away, if your rewriting is little more than tinkering with dialogue, your work will almost certainly fail. No matter our talent, we all know in the midnight of our souls that 90 percent of what we do is less than our best. If, however, research inspires a pace of ten to one, even twenty to one, and if you then make brilliant choices to find that 10 percent of excellence and burn the rest, every scene will fascinate and the world will sit in awe of your genius.

I’m happy to rewrite the 90% and save the 10% of scenes that move me, until it all resonates.