The Skeleton Sketch of My First Novel

Then there was the bad weather-A Moveable FeastErnest Hemingway

The skeleton is complete! I have structure! Wow, I’m writing this story better than I’m living my life. No wonder people write. I’ve managed to divide my story into 34 sections (yes. I said that-34) and give each one a loose title. I wrote brief notes some of which sound like cheesy lead-ins but hey, I know what I’m talking about and oh yes and…I finished the ending. I always knew how it ended but I wasn’t exactly sure how it got to where it ended.

As I was organizing and creating the spine of the story, I have to mention that it is based on real events but I’m writing it as a fiction. I noticed that although I was being true to the order of events as recorded in my journal and notes the order didn’t work for the dramatic flow. Honestly, I think that three years ago I would have ignored that and stayed “true” to the events as they happened but looking at it now I think that would be damaging to the story. So I started moving things around a bit, thinking, “okay this can’t happen before this because this sets up this, but this can be moved ahead, and this can be moved back, and so on”. I’m actually enjoying this part. I think my problem in the past has been (amongst several things) that I looked at a piece in its imaginary end product and couldn’t really see the work from the idea to the fruition as anything but daunting, overwhelming and tedious. I used to say I’m just too lazy but I’m thinking now maybe I was just too afraid to try.  Now that I don’t have anything in my life that is actually asking me to get out of bed (it’s not as depressing as it sounds) I find that all I really have is this book. That’s a purposeful decision. Without putting my first book as my rasion d’être I don’t know if I would have even have gotten past this point. I mean I actually finished the structured skeleton off of my first draft (sketch idea is a better description) and it has an arc, and characters and a climax and a denouement the whole gamut. I, for the first real moment, believe that I’m going to write this, it may not be good and it may not sell but I’ll have written my first book. Wow.

I pasted in a little of how I outlined the structure just to give you an idea- I really just wanted to paste it in like a photograph but I didn’t know how to do that. My imagination is more savvy than my computer skills.

Section 9

First day at the James Joyce

After a night out with Laura, Jíri and Michael, Annabelle heads back to the C&B to find her way home meets the Punk Czech (setting character). Her first day at work she meets Jules and Jana (setting characters). The evening ends at the Sedm Vlku with Irish Bob (setting character).

Section 10


C&B with Dimtri, Amanda, Laura, Cash, Riccardo, Endres and Annabelle and other characters spend Easter in the C&B garden.

Section 11

Swedish Death Metal and Koontz

A Swedish Death Metal bands stops in Prague while on tour and Riccardo brings Koontz (minor character) home. Other band members and first time we meet Ruby (minor character). [Somewhere around here Annabelle stands up Endres for the first time.]

Section 12

Picnic with Endres and the Castle

Endres and Annabelle meet up in a Park and wander through the streets of Prague.

Section 13

Czech Lessons

Annabelle meets up with Zuzana and Sedik for some lessons in Czech. Afterwards she returns to the C&B to hang out with Endres, Dani and Rasta Faerie (setting characters).

Section 14

Standing up Endres and a meeting from back home

Annabelle heads off to look for a new Job but while picking up her money from the James Joyce she runs into Jeff (setting character) from her hometown of Seattle. As a result she stands up Enders who is waiting at the museum. Out of guilt and alcohol she goes to the C&B to try and find him but only finds Cash.

Section 15

Meeting Jeff on the Karlov Môst with Friends

Jeff hangs out with a different crowd in Prague. At first interested in the familiarity of back home and the calmness of the people she is around she finds that just because they play nice on the surface it doesn’t mean they are good people.

Section 16

Job at J.J. Murphy’s

First day of training at Murphy’s introduces new characters, [Some of which do not have names yet] Girl from Russian speaks Russian, German and Spanish she trains Annabelle who only speaks English. She also meets the Socialite head bartender from Minneapolis, the Aussi book keeper/waitress, the New Jersey cook, The German and the Polish Bartenders the two Bavarian owners (all setting characters).

Floating Bride Gowns

What’s next? I wrote in my last blog that I’m going to break down each section into scenes. The scenes are titled according to the action. I think this will help me to better develop characters along the way. I think I’ll start from the end and work my way to the beginning and see if that works with the continuity. Regardless, it will be an interesting trip I’m certain.

Robert Cohn was once middle weight boxing champion of Princeton. –The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemmingway


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