The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

Salutations!  I train continues to move forward on the re-write of Wildlight.  Using Scrivener and the snowflake method, I have laid down a foundation to build on and have begun working on character details.  Please note, that in order to talk about some of this in detail, you may be exposed to spoilers on the story (But, hey, the original story has been around for over a decade!).

snowflakeThe first step of the Snowflake Method asks us to create a one line summary of our story.  I wrote, “A young woman fights to save her own life against a corporate leader and the darkness within her own heart.”  The second step directs us to expand this to a paragraph and gives some advice as to what each sentence should consist of.  So, I wrote,

Tammy faces the problems most teenagers do, including anger management issues, when an old woman injects her body with a cybernetic armor stealth and fighting system. Maximilian, head of Cam Industries, orders his men to track her down and kidnap her so that he can remove the suit intact. Tammy escapes, takes stock and discovers that Max has plans to kill a key world leader. She confronts him, and manages to chase him off. Max kidnaps her best friend, Heather, forcing another confrontation that nearly kills Tammy. With Max holding all of the cards, Tammy has to rely on her resourcefulness and cunning to win the final battle.

Admittedly, this exercise proved much harder than I anticipated.  Keep in mind, I have the entire story already written!  However, after reading it again, and thinking through some of the main plot points, I realized that I had more than few problems.  Doing this exercise (and the steps that come after it), really forces me to think through things more thoroughly.  This, in turn, helps me to find plot holes and inconsistencies.

Along those lines, the third step asks us to write down basic character motivations and information.  I wrote the following about our main heroine, Tammy Saiko Tanaka,

WildlightTammy Saiko Tanaka
One Line: A young woman struggles to survive once injected with a highly advanced stealth suit.
Abstract: Tammy wants peace in her heart, and eventual happiness
Concrete: Tammy wants to get rid of her suit to return her life to normalcy
Conflict: Taking off the suit will kill Tammy. She does not know how to deactivate it.
Epiphany: Tammy realizes that her mother did not truly abandon her family, but did has best to save them.  
Summary : Early in life, Tammy was abandoned by her mother and brother, leaving her father to raise her. They rarely get along and there’s great distance between them. Early in our story, Tammy is infused with a suit giving her incredible powers, but at significant cost. She realizes none of this until men from Cam Industries kidnap her. She escapes after discovering that removal of the suit would endanger her life. This only pushes her further into depression, but in trying to find out more, she discovers Max will assassinate a key figure if she does not intervene. The conflict eventually forces her to face her past, and challenge her own motivations which leads to a final showdown. She wins, and this dictates a new direction for her life, though many of her problems still remain.  

In doing each step, and thinking carefully through each one, I realized details I wrote in earlier steps do not quite work.  I felt thankful that revision of previous steps turns out to be a completely normal and expected part of the process.  The fourth step asks us to write out a one page summary of our story.  Each paragraph expands one of the sentences we wrote in step 2 (the one paragraph summary).  I look forward to working on it more this week.

What do you think?  How are your creative projects coming along?  My wife and I have a saying… great hobbies keep us out of trouble!  When you take the necessary time to work on large projects like this, who has time to get involved in drama?   Have a blessed day!

By His Grace,






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