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#FirstDraft Planning Days 12 & 13: Visualizing with Pinterest, and Heroine Backstory

Monday, January 22, 2018

Day 12’s story-prep is a continuation of Day 10 (Character Casting and Physical Descriptions) in that I spent my writing-task hour working on my Story in Progress board on Pinterest. For Day 13, today’s task, it comes from the original Day 12 in the FirstDraft60 process: Character Backstories.

Day 12: Story Visualization with Pinterest
I haven’t really done much with Pinterest over the past several months. I’ve pinned a few things here and there, but I haven’t visited the site at all in quite some time. So I was surprised when I logged in last night to discover that there’s a new feature in the desktop version of the site—and that’s the ability to create sections within a board (I checked the app on my phone, and the sections don’t show up there; this is just a desktop website feature, apparently). So I spent time sorting the images I already had and adding a whole lot more, mostly of my main character templates.

You can see the Pinterest boards by clicking the images below.

Yes, even though it’s not officially time to work on the costuming portion of the story bible/visualization boards, I went ahead and pulled several things (because, naturally, once I realized there was a way to further organize my boards, I had to go into my historical costuming board for 1840s-1850s-1860s and divide those into decades because I needed to do that for research purposes, after all). And I was surprised what I learned about Elle during the process of pulling costumes for her. She’s practical—she’s not going to have a lot of ruffles and pouffed sleeves. She’s not going to wear the widest skirts possible. She’s not going to wear overly bright colors or bold prints. She prefers linen, muslin, and cotton to silks or satins. And so on.

Day 13: Write Heroine’s Backstory
As mentioned above, this comes from Character Backstories from the 2016 version of FirstDraft60. Because this is a “next generation” story, I know that my heroine’s backstory opens with:

Eleanor Charlotte Ransome is the second child and first daughter born to Julia and William Ransome on Julia’s family sugar plantation, Tierra Dulce, in Jamaica, joining her three-year-old brother, Edward. Eleanor is named for her late maternal grandmother (Eleanor Pembroke Witherington) and her paternal aunt (Charlotte Ransome Cochrane).

Sometimes, it’s the opening that’s the hardest, even when it’s just backstory that no one else might ever see. So once I typed that out, it was easier to push forward and dig into Eleanor’s early years. In fact, in just over an hour, I wrote over 1,300 words of backstory for my girl!

I typed it up in Word and then copied/pasted it into OneNote. I have it saved in both formats, just in case, because I’ve had several OneNote files go corrupt on me in the past—previous versions of the software, yes, but once burned . . .)

The rest of the tasks for this week are:
Tuesday 1/23 — Day 14: Write Hero’s Backstory
Wednesday 1/24 — Day 15: 1k1hr Writing Sprint—Continue Writing Scene from Last Week, or Write a New Opening Scene
Thursday 1/25 — Day 16: Update Story Bible and Work on Any Incomplete Tasks
Friday 1/26 — Day 17: Write/Update Story Premise; Write Blurbs
Saturday 1/27 — Day 18: Write Detailed Story Synopsis (or scene-by-scene cards); Work on Outline/Seven Story Beats

How are you doing on your 2018 project goals?


If you’ve never done FirstDraft60 and want to try it, you can see the whole series at the #FirstDraft60 page linked in the header. The tasks do build on each other after the first several days, but you can move them around to best suit your style. Be sure to start with Day 1—Determining Your Commitment and Motivation with Guided Questions.

One Hour of Writing Time per Day
My one hour of writing time is scheduled for each day from 7 PM to 8 PM Central time. I’ll try to remember to send reminders on Twitter, followed by results afterward each day (after all, I do have time for social media scheduled both before and after the writing block).

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