The Story Corpse

The Story Corpse was BY FAR, my favorite panel of the whole weekend and I’m going to use this technique when I soon get back working on my writing. The Story Corpse was a panel led by V.E. Schwab she described one of her writing techniques in detail. For this writing technique you have to think of the story like a body and the body has several portions.

The Bones

The bones are your plot. Schwab pointed out that it was less about knowing story at this point. You do need a beginning and an end though. At this you want to find at least 5-10 scenes to go in between the beginning and the end. It could be more like 10-20 if your novel is longer. You want to put them on a story timeline, which isn’t the same as a chronological timeline, and write out a few sentences to a paragraph about each bone. Again this may be longer, but this is the point where you are finding if you have enough story for a novel.

The Tissue

Now the body is going to grow in interesting and predictable ways, Bones are prompts. Thinking of each chapter as an episode is a good idea. The tissue is the twists and turns your characters take in life. This is where you might deviate from your original bones and you might what to go back and look is this the story I want to tell, or do I like the changes I’m making better, it’s all up to you. Make sure while you are here you establish voice and tense.

Also: If you are focused on making your writing pretty know that there will be a pass for that but not here, you might lose words from this portion of the story so it’s a good idea to create a cut file just in case there is anything you think you might want to come back and save.

The Flesh

The Flesh is the revision process. A good idea is to think of the story like a streamed piece of media where you meet your character at the end. How did they come to be where they are what pushed them to make those choices, it’s a good way to have your writing make sense forwards by looking at it backwards. Also when editing the middle of the book always tends to sag.

The Clothes

The clothes are word choices and aesthetics. Think of the mood boards everyone makes. The clothes convey your books style to the world.

Here is the video below see what you get from it.

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