It's probably a good time to mention that I hope you have chosen a good name for your character. It's going to be popping out of your mouth a lot. And. . . you are only starting. Oliver took me 5-6 months of obsession to get to where I felt comfortable enough to start letting him go, submitting (sending my grown baby out into the world) and letting another character move in.
Okay - on with the show -
I've consulted with Rodale's, I've been 'pitching' the idea around among my forebearing (wow, that's a new / old one, not sure I got the spelling on it) co-workers and book-ish friends. For some reason I find that the more I play with an idea, the more I banter around and test it out, the better it gets.
It's like being in the stacks with a kid, you know you're doing a good job 'selling' a book if the kid is practically jumping up and down to get the book. On the other hand, if their eyes glaze over, they shrug their shoulders, all while looking at their feet, you know you are either not doing a good job on the build-up, or you are pitching the wrong book to the wrong kid.
Anyway - back on topic, again -
Garden Path Sentences and Linguistic Examples to go along with the Paraprosdokian Phrases I already had.
I find that if I can get that first line down, that ironic, twisted first taste of the story; and if I've hooked my audience with it, then I've got it. It doesn't hurt that I have some amazing co-workers who start to toss out additional lines, phrases and ideas! Not to mention my awesome kid patrons that I see almost more than my own kids.
Read on for a view of the next drafts . . .
A color-coded draft that I use to visualize the flow and the sections of the story
~a preliminary story cone - the beginnings of an analyis based on Katherine Farmer's work
page 1, back to a print out and days of note taking
A note regarding my handwriting... I usually have very nice handwriting. Not when I am writing though.
The ideas are usually coming so fast and furious that I cannot keep up. Not to mention that with my schedule, I am usually taking notes while I am eating lunch or walking to and from the car, in the car at stoplights, not to mention in the middle of the night - with no light!