Thursday, December 10, 2009

B-I-A-M Update

Last month, I shared with you that I've started applying a Book-in-a-Month process to writing every Saturday. Since that post, I've had four more Saturdays to progress, or four more "days" in the BIAM formula. The pattern is pretty simple. Each Saturday, my goal is to write 7 draft pages and to complete the BIAM daily assignment. The process is so different from my normal writing approach. Usually, I work out my plot and main characters, build the setting, then start the draft. In BIAM, the draft is happening at the same time as bits of the plot are worked out, while basic character outlines are created and as settings are roughly drawn. Back-and-forth. Do a little writing. Fill in a character form. Do a little writing. Create a turning point scene. Do a little writing. Craft a high-level plot outline. I'm finding this rhythm invigorating.

Right now I'm lingering on Day 4. The Day 4 assignment asks you to work on the main characters' sketches. I had no trouble with my heroine. Three workbook pages and I moved right on to the hero. And stopped...right...there. What a stunner! I thought I had this great guy clear in my mind, but when pressed to go deeper, I choked. The assignment showed, to my chagrin, that I don't know him very well at all, certainly not enough to make him a compelling hero. So I wrote my pages, spent the last week amidst my daily chaos brainstorming Peter Jameson, and noting my conclusions in the BIAM workbook. By Saturday, I'll be ready to move on again. What a rush!

So far, the BIAM process keeps me focused and allows me to make progress on all fronts at the same time. I'm liking this. A lot. Until next month...

Happy Writing to You!


Elisabeth Rose said...

I've never done a BIAW or anything similar but the process you describes sounds a little the way I work. I develop everything as I go--characters gradually fill out and reveal themselves, scenes arise etc. I don't write detailed notes but I do think a lot in between writing sessions.
Interesting posts. Thanks.

LaVerne St. George said...

Thanks, Elisabeth. I'm wondering now if this might be a better creative process for me than my usual one. Anything that can make this novel writing a little easier is all right by me!

Carol Hutchens said...

This is very interesting, Laverne. I can't wait for your next post/step report.

Thanks for sharing.