December 30, 2011 (Plotting Pays Off!)

This post is brought to you by the number 18.

That’s how many chapters I outlined today. Woot!

In previous posts I’ve mentioned that To Kill the Goddess was written pretty much by the seat of my pants, which goes a long way towards explaining why it took so freaking long. This time though – I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things. I took those nine pages of notes I’ve been accumulating over the last couple weeks and chiseled them into something that actually resembles a story. I have character driven arcs for each POV character, twists, turns, and best of all, chapters already structured and organized with mid and end goals in mind.

All of that seems obvious, right? But let me tell you, but when you’re starting out and learning how to write and structure a novel all at the same time there are just some things you can’t do and – for me at least – methodically plotting out a novel wasn’t one of them.

So now I have my Excel outline file with eighteen cells filled in. Some of them are jam-packed with notes, others with just a sentence or two. I’ll come back to this as I write. I’ll fill in details as they become clear and then, at some point down the road, I’ll have another big plotting session and see if I can’t find my way to the end.

Here’s to being organized!

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Upping My Geek Cred

Just in case you thought this was the blog for some stuffy, “I’m gonna win a Pulitzer Prize writer,” allow me to shatter any illusions you might have.

PS note the morning hair – spiffy.

PPS special thanks to the Lovely Leann for helping me out when all the puzzle pieces started to look the same!

December 27, 2011

Figured out what was wrong yesterday. I was concentrating too much on the nuts and bolts and forgetting about those major thematic elements that guide the story. It’s like – when you’re building a house you gotta put up all those 2×4’s first – you gotta build the structure before you lay the carpet and choose the drapes. Seems obvious, but like I said yesterday, everything is a swirl of thoughts.

Thankfully, due to a lot of the thought I’ve already put into this, hammering out those thematic elements came pretty quickly and when I did I realized part of the problem I was running into yesterday was that I was missing a character who needs to be in this story. More complications! But better for the story – yes – much better.

December 26, 2011

Christmas is over – time to get to work!

Spent some time trying to outline. For me, this process is maybe a bit unorthodox. I use Microsoft Excel, put characters in the rows and chunks of time across the top. It worked reasonably well for To Kill the Goddess and I’m going to try to use it for Book 2.

But it’s hard! Right now everything is a swirl of thoughts – dust modes in the sunlight – and none of it wants to be contained. I’m fighting against my instincts now. To Kill the Goddess was all trial and error and this deliberate process is still a little bit foreign to me. Okay, a lot foreign!

And something’s not right. I knocked out a good half-dozen opening chapters but I’ve got that nagging feeling in the back of my head – the one that says yes you’re making progress but you’re not on the right track.

December 23, 2011

Did a little brainstorming and whatnot regarding chapter 1. Biggest accomplishment: I wrote the first sentence!

Want a preview? Spoiler alert!

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Roma Taft stood between the battlements, looked down over the sprawling, mountainside city of Ederea, and watched its far edge burn.

Yes, big changes are on tap for Book 2.

Fussy writer comment: I’m not too happy with “watched its far edge burn” but there will be wordsmithing, my friends, oh yes.

December 18, 2011

Staring at my notes – trying to not get overwhelmed by the complexity of stitching all this together – thinking, why couldn’t I have just dreamt up a nice and tidy 70K word paranormal romance? 😉

And it doesn’t help that I’ve never tried to outline a book like this before. Yes, this is book number two, but book one came together over the course of many years and I don’t plan on writing fourteen billion drafts this time around.

PS Just signed up for the WordPress blog. Sparkly! Distracting….