The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

#WIP: Writing Progress Goes "Boink"!

I've been a Calvin and Hobbes fan since the comics first surfaced. I own this collection and the title and image says it all. To the point: I had to borrow it to describe my writing process for the current #WIP.I had an epiphany some time ago (two years, maybe) to write a fiction tale about one of my dear friends. Then it turned into a fiction tale featuring a character based on my friend.That was the first "Boink".I started writing and took a section of the introduction to the local writer's group. They liked it and made suggestions, some of which I took and others, not so much.Life intervened and my writing went dormant for a while. I received an email from the writer's group leader, asking me if I could attend the fall session. My response was that with everything going on, work-wise and health-wise in our house, I would not be able to. I added that I hadn't been writing.That led to the second "Boink".It was like the story started writing itself. I opened the project file (I am using Scrivener) and started in. I soon had multiple character names, chapters and scenes, and reference maps.I got very excited about the project and decided I wanted to try my hand at traditional publishing. I started checking out agents and their requirements, noting that most had the same general standard: query letter/cover letter, synopsis, first (two, five, ten) chapters.I read a very interesting website about completing the synopsis: to paraphrase, be sure the book is written first -- otherwise, the result is not a synopsis but an outline.That was the third "Boink".I never outlined. I just started writing and followed the story and characters as they led me. But this was different, bigger. I went back and created an outline of the chapters I had already written and kept going. I outlined until I found myself mentally standing at a crevasse of enormous proportions. I couldn't see my way across but I suddenly found myself face-to-face with the villain, who had been lurking in the shadows. He was right there, waving at me from the other side of the expanse between what I had so far and where I wanted to go. He had a megaphone and was telling me what he had planned for my main characters. He told me how the story would end.Thus, the fourth "Boink".I started backward outlining. I wrote the ending, then what happened before that, and what happened before that ... until I backed my way across the crevasse. I stuck my tongue out at the villain on my way by.Now the whole story is here, right in front of me but in skeletal form. Now, back to Scrivener to put flesh and sinewy muscle on the frame.A synopsis is soon to follow. And then, watch out, agents: here I come."Boink".

#WIP: Introducing Nancy Lobaro

#WIP: Introducing the Location