In last month’s Tone Report, I decided to rip off the movie Angel Heart for The Jade Queen. Talent borrows, genius steals. While I’m no genius, I am capable of theft. And I’m only stealing the twist, and moving it to the end of the first act. No one will ever know!
Of course, the hook is not a story on its own, so I opened an empty notebook and spitballed ideas into it. Just tossing every stray thought that might tie into the story for a few weeks; scenes, dialog, characters, etc.. I love this phase because I can do it while watching TV and call it working.
When I have a few pages full of ideas, the plot starts to rise between the lines. I pull all the scenes from the notebook, give them their own cards and arrange them in sequence, pictured above. The cards give me the flexibility to move scenes around, but also trash and replace them.
Once the sequence has gelled, I import the cards into Scrivener, a word processor for longer pieces. I don’t lose the flexibility of the cards, because the text in Scrivener is also arrangeable.
The Comics Experience message board’s given me some good feedback on issue #1. I’m about to upload issue #2 on the board, but you have to give 4 feedbacks for every upload and I’ve already touched on every viable document.
Here’s the current script for issue #1. Of course, no script survives contact with the editor. so please feel free to comment on the Google Doc.
Plug of the Month: The SomaFM app for Windows has made my listening experience while working so much better. The Secret Agent channel in particular is my theme music for writing thrillers like The Jade Queen.