Yesterday, I laid out the scenes for my holiday movie. Last week, I bought a foam-core posterboard, and then I used Post-It index cards to write out the various scenes and lay them out. I have a few that still need fleshing out, but I do have a sense of the structure. I may start actually writing today because I've generally found that those later scenes fill themselves in with details once I have the details from the earlier scenes.
I've decided that the first day that my heroine experiences before waking up and finding herself reliving the same day will have a lot of common nightmare elements so it will make sense for her to wake up and think it was all just a dream. Fortunately (or not, I suppose), my subconscious has been generous in providing those to me. My main recurring nightmare, with only the details changed, is being on my way to somewhere I need to be, only to realize I forgot something like the information about exactly where I need to go, so I have to go back and get it, and then when finally heading to the right place, all kinds of obstacles appear. So she'll be rushing to a music gig after work, only to realize she left the information behind at the office, so she has to go back, where she gets caught, and then she has other things getting in her way before she finally makes it. Last night, I had a nightmare in which I was singing with the choir and then realized that I was singing a totally different song from the rest of the choir. So that may have to happen. I once had a nightmare the night before I was singing with a quartet that we were supposed to have worn Victorian attire and I didn't get the memo (resulting in a frantic rush home to get the right clothes, and cue that recurring nightmare), so perhaps she'll show up with the wrong costume for the gig.
For the day job side of things, I've decided to go the "write what you know" route and have her working for a public relations agency. That way, I can provide a lot of realistic detail. The company I worked for was headquartered in New York, and I visited their offices, so I can depict the more "big city" version. It's a career that tends to draw creative people, so it might be a good fallback for a singer. Although there's a lot of visually boring stuff, like spending the day writing e-mails and news releases, there's also active stuff like going to client offices, touring locations you'll be promoting, meeting and interviewing people to get information for news releases and putting on events and press conferences. There's even a hint of glamour occasionally, and you sometimes get to meet famous people. But it can be very demanding. Getting ahead in a big agency requires putting in a lot of time and energy. On the other hand, it is a job you can do as a freelancer to help pay the bills while you work on something else, once you've built up a reputation by working at a big firm. And PR skills are good to have if you're promoting yourself in some artistic endeavor, so it's not like time in that job is a total waste for a creative person. My heroine will still have some ways to earn money while she builds the music career, and she can apply her PR skills to promoting the group.
I do know that there will be no Dreaded Misunderstandings. I figure that most of the conflict will come from being torn between lives, so within each life there won't be a lot of romantic strife. The guy in the life that turns out to be wrong will realize that her heart isn't really in it, which will tear them apart, but once she gets together with the guy in the right life, things will be okay. Her real problem there will be when she gets to the point where she knows that's right for her, but she keeps waking up in that other life where she doesn't know him.