The first day of class was very insightful and already worth my time coming here. I'm a novice when it comes to plotting a novel. Until about three months ago, I had never made the attempt. And no one has ever showed me how to do it, so I blundered through on my own, thinking I had the Best Outline Ever. OK, I know it wasn't that, but I thought it was pretty good.
From what I learned yesterday, I have an outline for about the first third of a novel, through the end of the first act. I'll need to start over almost from scratch, keeping my core elements, and see where it goes.
Also, I started in the wrong place.
That's why I'm here. To learn to do it right, so I don't waste my precious writing time working on a project whose basic structure is flawed.
For the first hour of class, Kij Johnson explained to us the main elements of developing a plot. A lot of it I had heard before, but she said some things that are new to me, and I took copious notes. Then we spent the rest of class brainstorming with Kij and Barbara J. Webb to build a big-picture novel structure from a core idea and two characters. It was fun and eye-opening, and I'm looking forward to working through the process on my own novel.
On another topic, I think these two weeks will get me the rest of my way to my weight-loss goal. I don't have access to a pantry here, which means I'm not snacking on chips, crackers and cookies for half the day. My plan is: bagel and fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch and a big dinner at whatever restaurant we choose that night. Plus, there's quite a bit of walking; we are on a college campus, after all. Of course I have no scale to measure my weight until I'm home in two weeks, so it's all guessing until then.