Thursday, July 12, 2012

Loglines, Beats and the Board!

I’ve read three more chapters in “Save the Cat”, but before I get to them I’m going back to loglines. After all having one might make writing the story easier, since it lays out the plot. The funny thing is I’ve been working on my Phoenix Trilogy in parallel with my NaNovel2012, which we’ll call Trabia. I know it needs a better name, and according to Blake I should get one before I write the story, but I like working titles. Besides it’s short enough for simple file names. *grins*

Right so back to Loglines ... (no not lines made of logs... I wish it were that simple!)

Here’s what I got for My Phoenixes:
Sarah’s Phoenix: An independent young woman is ported to an old world society and must choose between stoking the hearth fire, or wearing pants to help her love stop a war.
Phoenix Rising: An independent woman wearing pants must prove her worthiness to her love’s superiors, if a war-mongering General doesn’t kill them first.
Phoenix Triumphant: Ready to settle down with her love, an independent woman is called upon to rescue the Princess in a covert operations, in the hopes of uniting two kingdoms.

And here’s what I got for Trabia. I wish it was one, but I’m waffling on what it will be. (Rough sketch by me of a young Magi's learning tools: Pouch, Mirror, Key and Book)

1.  A hardworking girl on the verge of womanhood discovers she’s a magi in the land of non-magi.
2.  A late blooming magi becomes the only hope of stopping a powerful magi’s undead army.
3.  A young Prince sets out to implore the help of his aunt, only to find her unexpected daughter instead.
4.  A young girl and her cousins must hone her skills, physical and magical, so that she can help defeat a powerful magi trying to take over the world
5.  Three teens must learn their weaknesses and strength to help thwart an evil magi trying to take over the world.

Unfortunately, I need to pin down my loglines (according to Blake) before I start on the beat sheet, which he suggests is best done on The Board – the Board being a story board broken into four lines (see below) with 40 scene cards split between them. I might be able to start doing that with my Phoenixes, once I figure out what kind of portable board I want to use.

Portable is key, because I work at my desk at home, on my lunch break at work and in libraries (loving the one I’m currently at – outside seating!).  However, the other key thing is that the scenes that you put on the board should be movable too, yet also able to stay where you put them. (And apparently if I had an iPhone, there’s an app for that) *eyeroll* (or I can buy the software)

And there you have it, my quest for this week – find a Board I can use for my plotting. So if you have any thoughts (Notepad and sticky notes maybe?) I’d appreciate them. Or even better, I’d LOVE, to hear your thoughts on my loglines. *grins*  Thanks.

:} Cathryn Leigh


  1. I don't use any sort of board because, well, my writing is almost all in-document. I write until I stop and then I stop. However, whenever I get ideas I write them on a sticky note and stick them on the side of my bed (which is a high bed, directly next to my desk). I have two there at the moment - plot musings for stories other than those I'm working on at the moment. It means I don't forget them.

    All my planning happens in my head, or in a single two-page synopsis thing that I write by sitting down and talking to myself on paper. "But how does that work? Hmm, try..." I tend to ignore it most of the time, until I get stuck.

    Mind you, the last time I wrote a first draft was last November, so hey. Can't contribute here, being stuck in edits as usual.

    1. I'm sort of the same way, only my notes end up in notebooks all over the place.

      I figure I might as well try it. If it doesn't work, so be it. If it does, well that's another potential time saver tool I've got under my belt. :}

  2. Hehehe, I can't do loglines, or blurbs, or anything, because my plot always explodes in really inappropriate directions - still, if this works for you, I say go for it!

    My plots are like bags of cats; I have no idea where they're going until they get there. Hence why I'm so awful at describing any non-finished or in-progress stories of mine. Because if even the author has no idea what's going on, who does?

    Also, this just reminds me how much I need to start writing again ... I think I'm going crazy in my corner without it ...

    1. I can't claim that I do either. And the thing is, if the story goes else where, that's okay. At least you started with something, and maybe by planing it out so much it'll be more sedate about it's directional changes?

      I don't know. But I might be with you in that corner. Kind of why I'm starting my prep for NaNo now. :}