Monday, September 29, 2014

Abstract Thoughts: Bottom of the Tenth, Two Outs, Full Count

Brilliance from the Idea Salesman
Technically, it's not my turn to blog this week, but I missed my turn two weeks ago and the Muse is exhausted anyway, so she told me I could take her slot. The Muse is exhausted, by the way, because she and Renee just pulled together three weeks of plotting work in about three days.

Because we got off track again. We didn't account for how much time Renee was going to lose to planning, executing, and recovering from yet another family event. (These fleurking kids of hers just keep insisting on having birthdays. . . ) Last time this happened, the Inner Editor helped me talk Renee into hiring the Project Manager. Now that it's happened again, we thought maybe we should actually consult him.

Now Gantt charts and timelines and 32-week rotations are all well and good when it comes to planning for the next big home invasion--because the holidays will be here before you know it and so will the grandparents--but they don't really do much for fixing the immediate problem. Once we got the new plan worked out, we were still due to start writing the next draft of Guardian in less than a week and all we had to show for our plotting was a couple of character sketches and a stack of random brainstorming notes.

Could Renee have just said "bring it" and blindly flung herself full speed at a blank document? Sure. But I'd like to think we've all learned to be a little more circumspect by this point. Renee doesn't have time to be that kind of a panster anymore. We've committed to getting things worked out ahead of time from now on. So we decided we'd just have to take that one week and cram as much effort into it as possible.

I did some of my finest cheering. The Inner Editor wisely made herself scarce. And the Muse gritted her teeth, cracked her knuckles, stretched her neck, rolled her shoulders, and shouted, "Keep the coffee coming all night. No rest for the wicked!"

She really went all in.

Here's a picture of Renee hard at work:*

It's rally cap time!
I think we're going to start using that one as her profile icon whenever she's up against a deadline from now on.

The result: we are plotted, baby! Act summaries, scene lists, character sketches, settings, the whole shebang.

Technically, there are some minor characters we haven't quite nailed down yet and some of the settings are nebulous at best, but the Project Manager ran his numbers and gave us the green light. We are going ahead.

Not the prettiest victory, maybe. We pretty much stole our winning run after a fielding error rather than knocking a grand slam out of the park or something. But at the end of the day we're putting this one in the W column and that's all that counts.

*If you're not a baseball person, it's a thing to wear your cap inside out (which turns it into a rally cap) when your team is behind and you're superstitiously hoping your fashion choices will spur them to victory. The tradition was supposedly started by the NY Mets, most notably in game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Though Renee and I aren't sure how accurate that is, since the only baseball fans she knows also happen to be Mets fans. Wikipedia seems to agree with them though, so that's. . . not actually saying much at all.

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