Preptober: Boiling down to the bones

I’ve decided to switch metaphors. I’ve started revising my massive outline for The Forest Book and thought of it like making soup stock. Whether you prefer chicken or vegatable, a certain amount of boiling has to be done to pull the essence out of the stock elements. Boiling it to the bone – even for the vegetable, since your celery has ribs, sort of – is a way of distilling down this cluster of ideas into a useable story.

It’s a little like a reverse of the Snowflake Method, where instead of building up from a single sentence, I’m melting it all down into the elements necessary to the story. The goal is for me to have a single sentence per scene for my working outline going into Nanowrimo and allowing the description, dialogue, world building elements to exist as reference. The bits I strain out of the stock are still useable in the final product, just not as the final product.

It’s possible my soup metaphor got twisted in a way that would make you wary of eating supper at my house. That’s find. Let’s order pizza.

I feel like ultimately this will give me tighter prose and a narrative that isn’t trying to fit in all the various whims I’ve had letting this story simmer in my brain for decades. I feel like I’m covering things I’ve said yesterday, and my apologies for being a bit repetitive, but there are some realizations that take multiple rounds. Your first soup ain’t great, but it’s a start.

Question! I was wondering if there is already an established procedure or hashtag for people wanting to share snippets of their writing each day during Nano. I haven’t searched the forums yet, and I can always post it here in a separate category, but I’d like to be part of a larger community. If you’re aware of something like this, please let me know. Thanks!

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