I Finished the Steeplechase!

Author:
Publish date:

It took all semester to chip away at it, but the last step of my Steeplechase is finally complete! Just over forty pages, it consists of eleven successive scenes of story, each written in a different form:

1. a third person POV

2. a first person POV

3. a summary

4. an opposite character’s POV

5. a how-to essay

6. a strong overall storyteller POV

7. a newspaper interview

8. a scene of dialogue

9. a dream sequence

10. a scene written parodying Jack Kerouac’s style, and finally,

11. A last scene back in the original POV.

The rule is that each scene must push forward; that even though you can (and should) make narrative leaps, there should be a story arc throughout. Now that it’s FINALLY finished, my professor wants me to rewrite it—this time, as an actual story. Part of me is so sick of it that I just want to walk away from it for awhile, but the other part of me wants to sit down and write it while all its possibilities are still fresh in my mind (and also because the finished product is due in three days).

When I go to do my rewrite, I’m probably going to cut at least half of the steps, but I still feel that the Steeplechase has been time well spent, since I know this story intimately from all sides, I know the best vantage point to write from, and I know what all my characters are thinking and feeling even if those feelings aren’t going to explicitly make the cut onto the page.
If you’ve got a LOT of free time to spare, and you’re stuck on a particular piece, I highly suggest trying to steeplechase it, at least for a few steps. It will help you to discover story possibilities you didn’t know were there.

Back to the drawing board I go…

writing_mistakes_writers_make_talking_about_the_work_in_progress_robert_lee_brewer

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.

Kelly_1:15

Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.

capital_vs_capitol_grammar_rules_robert_lee_brewer

Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Dulan_1:14

On Writing to Give Grief Meaning and Write Out of Challenging Situations

Author Lily Dulan explains why writers have to be willing to go to difficult places inside themselves for their writing to make a positive impact on ourselves, others, and the world.

Brandt_1:14

Gerald Brandt: Toeing the Line Between Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Science fiction author Gerald Brandt explains how this new series explores the genre boundary and how he came to find his newest book's focus.

plot_twist_story_prompts_moment_of_doubt_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Moment of Doubt

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character experience a moment of doubt.

dr_caitlin_oconnell_finding_connection_and_community_in_animal_rituals_author_spotlights

Caitlin O'Connell: Finding Connection and Community in Animal Rituals

In this post, Dr. Caitlin O'Connell shares what prompted her to write a book about finding connection and community in animal rituals, what surprised her in the writing process, and much more!

new_agent_alert_zeynep_sen_of_wordlink_literary_agency

New Agent Alert: Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Zeynep Sen of WordLink Literary Agency) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.