BME: Has anything happened yet?

No. At least, not exactly in the way that I imagined it would from last week’s blog (3.4). I thought I would just go back to my ‘witch’ story and fly with it into another, higher dimension. You see I have my plot line – my witch is about to change a dog into a lion. Yes, I know it’s a bit far-fetched – but we’re into child thinking here, so bear with me. ANYTHING, literally, can happen, I keep telling myself. I even made up a spell that rhymes. But it’s like wading through a field of treacle at times. Must keep going.

Thankfully my story is at first draft stage so I’m just putting background marks onto my blank page – to be filled in with the more defined strokes, shadows and colours that comprise the finer details at a later point, to give it depth. At the moment it’s just going through the BME part of the writing process.

BME, I hear you ask. What is that? No it’s not another dreadful virus. It stands for the beginning, middle and end of story plot lines. I read somewhere that the B – should be about one quarter, the M about half, with the E comprising the final quarter of the whole story line. So, I ask myself, where in this field of treacle, have I reached? I think I am wading through the middle. But where am I going? What is on the horizon? This is where I have to make notes to ensure that my metaphorical field leads me in the right direction – to leave by the right gate. By the end of my story, my main characters must have solved their problems: the same problems that I set out at the beginning. Sounds simple, but it is not.

I often imagine my story as a threaded length of rope – with the sub-plot strands interwoven all the way along. When writing, it is easy for one of the strands to become loose – and lose its connection with the ongoing plot line. I think this is what the phrase ‘tying up loose ends’ by the end of a story, must mean. You see where I am going with this analogy? Juggling all of the bits as I go along is a nightmare at times. I have to keep writing little notes to remind me – don’t forget the dog? Can the cat talk? He is a witch’s cat. At which point does the wicked twin sister enter this plot? The blurb (that I have written before I started in order to help me) states that my characters form a formidable team – so is this character relationship happening yet in my story, given that I am in the middle? How many balls can we writers juggle at once to keep our plots moving at a pace?

That’s another issue – pace. Is my pace right for the age range of my intended readers? Too fast? Too slow? Children need action and getting them to read words on paper is hard enough in this technological age. So I must not get too bogged down into the characterisation. Things must happen. The plot must move at a pace.

But back to my current scene – turning my witch’s cat into a lion. What does it need – a spell, a witch and some horrible stuff like cat’s pee and the blood of a bee? At least it rhymes. I will press on as soon as I post this blog.

Meanwhile – has anything happened yet? Yes – quite a lot really. Whether it has happened within the required shape and given range of word length that my story demands, is another matter. But onward and upward through the M bit of my plot. I’m off to change a dog into a lion. Wish me luck.

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