I completed the draft of Chapter One yesterday so this meant I needed to celebrate with something fun. I made Lasagna. There’s a lot of steps to create this family favorite and there was no family around to savor it fresh from the oven. Ed and I barely finished 1/4 of it, the rest is stored to reheat and it will taste even better then.
Chapter Two is this vague image as yet unformed even though I have a recipe to follow: scene, sequel, goal, motivation, conflict, choice, change, new agenda, cliffhanger ending. Yum. 🙂 My reward when I finish Chapter Two is to rearrange some of my cupboards. I want to do it because my kitchen routines have changed and placement choices 13 years ago no longer serve my purpose. My mind will be free to tease through the created chapters and begin forming Chapter Three.
In story structure, the end of Chapter Three is often the end of Act I and heralds a Turning Point. This is usually a surprise to the characters (and the readers) and leads into a whole new way of doing things. The characters will try to follow former methods but can not because of the new reality.
This will also be taking place in my life because I’ll have shifted stuff in my kitchen and will need to find it in a new way. I’m deliberately plotting my rewards to enhance my writing process. (Yes, the writer’s mind works in mysterious ways that many non-writers feel is wacky.)
Act II has a different structure than Act I and at the midpoint there is another turning point, this is the Point of No Return. All bridges to the past have been crossed and burned. I don’t have to do anything drastic in my personal life to mirror this. It’s already in potential with one example being the one daughter who has moved back to town because she’s not missing another holiday season with family. The holiday season is always a good example of story with the preparations, the event, the clean up, the next event already on its way.
The end of Act II is another turning point. The big one. A Major Setback. Since I have a pretty good idea of what this will be for my characters in the current story, I’m smart enough to have a plan for how this will be mirrored in my life. I expect the time frame to be during Thanksgiving weekend, specifically Black Friday, and I will put this project on the shelf for a few days of rest and do something fun, maybe a little wild, and a long way from my kitchen.