In about a week, I’m heading the Puerto Rico for a Superdraft retreat. Delta? Yeah, it’s a concern…except that the awesome citizens of Puerto Rico are more vaccinated than all but 4 of our states. They’re doing better than we are!
I’m bringing 4 other writers with me, and in a week and a day, we’ll be writing, respectively: two TV episodes, a feature script, 2 non-fiction books, and a full-length novel.
For those unaware, Superdraft is my writing productivity system. It’s strange, how many classes and books exist on the craft of writing, but how few focus on the PROCESS of writing. My lectures and workshops on this topic have been nothing short of a huge success. So many writers have come up to me afterwards, telling me how important the information I was giving out was to them. Probably because, as I said, nobody’s talking about it.
It’s like we understand that there are core principles to story constuction, but writing process? That’s too individual to discuss.
I firmly believe there are SO many stories out there that will never be heard because of a few essential flaws in how people go about writing.
So, I’m taking a few writers with me to see if what works for me, and for a lot of my students over the years, will work for these pros in their respective fields.
This week? It’s prep week. That means outlining. I’m writing the novel, so my output will be roughly double that of the others. As it should be since this is something I’ve practiced.
When I swim in the ocean, it’s easy to get turned around a bit. Especially on a rougher day. You’d expect the waves would keep you oriented, but it ain’t so. So what do I rely on? Buoys. I lift my head periodically and look for the next buoy.
But of the buoys are too far apart? I can’t always find it. I get lost.
Outlining for Superdraft is simply that. Putting enough buoys in the water so you don’t get lost. So you always have a target to hit some ten pages away or closer. A plot twist, a key moment of character revelation, a key scene of exposition.
How do we outline for Superdraft? We use a modified Snowflake Method. What’s that? Think about how you’d draw a snowflake. First you draw the spine of the thing. Then some branches. Then more smaller branches. Slowly you’re filling in the space and before you know it, you’ve got a snowflake.
We outline this way. We lay down the spine of the story. This is how it begins. This is how it ends. Here are the big moments that change the story’s direction. Then we fill in the medium branches. Here’s a big twist. What comes before the twist, to misdirect the audience? What comes after? What does it do to the plot? The characters? Then we fill in the smaller details, until we have enough to begin our Superdraft.
We’ll be showing some photos from a different beach, on a different bay next week. Hope you tune in!