That work is the process I've (more or less) pulled together over the years for creating a story. I play with my idea, working it into a plot until I have a narrative, or "working synopsis," that tells the story to me. I then work up characterisations, develop the plot some more, research, then compile a storyboard. The storyboard is my compilation of scenes (the basic unit of drama) and is basically the same sort of construct as used in movie-making. It's the template the writer (or movie-maker) follows to build the screenplay or manuscript.
I thought I was getting close to having my working synopsis for Madam President complete, when Donna showed me where it wasn't ready. Ah, my good wife. You're right. The story is there within all the work I've done--characterisations, conflict table, location descriptions, research notes, and working synopsis--I just have to find the optimal way to tell that story.
When I did computer programming, this was the same point at which I was "engineering" the program and it was usually expressed as a flowchart of the program logic. I worked out the logical problems at this point. Only when I was happy with the flowchart, would I start coding the program. I found there were fewer bugs in the program when I followed this process.
The same is true for writing, at least for me. Working out the story's logical problems at the "engineering level" (characterisations, conflict table, synopsis, etc) makes it much easier to draft prose (relatively "easier," it's still hard work).
So that's where I am with Madam President, which I need to be the best thing I've ever written. Yes, there's some pressure there.
In recent weeks, I've written a couple of book reviews that I think came out quite well and I hope you'll check them out on Good Reads. One is for an anthology that I contributed to. They are here:
Witch of Hebron by James Howard Kunstler
While the Morning Stars Sing edited by Lyndon Perry
Now in my last Journal entry, I made some predictions for 2012. Most of them, I still stand by, but I realize I've missed (thankfully) on one. It looks like Michele Bachman will NOT be the first woman US President. In my defense, I was more making a point than a prediction. That point was that absolutely ANYBODY can be put in the office of President of the US with NO change on policy or the working of the Federal government. This is because all they do is act as agents for the elite (the 1 percent). The same policies will be followed whether the next president is Bachman, Romney, or Obama. No one who doesn't represent the 1 percent (like Ron Paul) will be allowed to reach that office (no, I am not a Ron Paul supporter).
On a lighter note, Donna and I spent yesterday in Oxford, visiting our sons at the University of Mississippi. It was Donna's birthday and we had cake and celebrated at a local Asian restaurant. The food was great and (upon my sons' advice because they've spent time in China) I ordered a Tsingtao (pronounced "ching dow") beer to go with the meal. Actually, I ordered two.
Tsingtao is the beer capitol of China and apparently with reason. The light beer was of medium body and very flavorable, not waterly like American lights.
I carried my second bottle with me as we left (it was LIGHT beer, besides, Donna was driving) and the Chinese lady hostess was adament about warning me to not be seen by the police with an open bottle of beer in the car. That was thoughtful, and probably right, though I'm enough of a revolutionary to believe I have a Constitutional right to ride in the PASSENGER side of a car with an open bottle of beer! Still, I finished it quickly and then hid the bottle in the glove compartment.
Oh well, gotta finish my scotch and work on Madam President. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!