As I’ve said before, one of my current projects is adapting fairy tales to my futuristic storyworld. The first story I’m working on is Cinderella, which is actually pretty far down the PLE process, despite the fact I had to abandon it for a bit and then had to restart it when I picked it back up.
The first time through, I hadn’t developed the PLE process until I was finishing the outline and starting the rough draft, making this current work the third start in all honesty. When I started the story the very first time, I jotted down some notes common to all the Cinderella stories I was familiar with and started on a draft, writing scenes here and there with the goal of eventually stitching them back together. It didn’t work for this particular project.
The second time I started, I had recently laid out the PLE. So, I thought I’d run the story through the process, starting with asking myself why I was writing the story. The answer, predictably, was, “Because I’m writing a bunch of fairy tale adaptations for my storyworld!” And as we all know, that is not an acceptable reason to work on something in the PLE. The project was tabled a short time later as other demands took priority on my time.
A couple of months ago, I finally had an opening in my project schedule to give the project another shot. I looked over the PLE notes and thought, I can’t work from this! Most fairy tales are cautionary stories of one sort or another. So, I put it back into the Discovery Phase (Hey, sometimes you just don’t have a handle on a project until you’ve overanalyzed it to death!), and this time came out with a topic reflected both in the themes of the original fairy tale and through four of the five key characters in my adaptation. Finally, some progress! I now have a story I can really explore and tell.
Because I did the next two PLE phases pretty thoroughly the first time, this story will be moving to the fourth phase. But once it comes out of its PLE, I will move on to the next story’s Discovery Phase, but I will still be in the overarching project PLE’s Reviewing phase. Projects are funny like that.