01 December 2010

over the river and through the woods...

Woke up to the first snowfall of the year. Nothing significant, but enough to mess with my head a little bit. It's not that I hate snow, really, but if it's gonna snow and be cold, then it needs to snow enough to let me stay indoors.

I'm a puppy parent again, which is nice. I brought my dog back up with me after over 3 years of my parents keeping her. It's weird. I feel like I'm getting to know her all over again, but she's a trooper. Unconditional love is an amazing thing. So far, she's spent the last couple of days protecting me from the cats and from roommate. Once she gets used to everyone, she'll be a happy happy pup.

Also, I finished my outline for Spark over Thanksgiving *intense happy dance ensues*. I'm soooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited about writing it, but it needs to stew a little more. I've found all kinds of interesting stuff to work in; I think that the detail in this one will be incredibly rich, moreso than anything else I'm working on at the moment just because it's steeped in all these different traditions that I can weave through the narrative. Also, getting to read the Book of Enoch for research purposes will be interesting. There's going to be a lot going on in this, so keeping it to a decent length is going to be difficult. I'll try to edit as I go and streamline, and *hopefully* start in the right spot this time (it's kind of hard to remember that not all stories start at the actual beginning).

I'm working on a more detailed outline for Taming the Ancients as well. I'm going to try to divide my time at work and home for writing (like I said, hotel work is perfect for writers, especially in the slow season). Maybe at work, try to accomplish the more technical aspects--outlines, character bios, plot details, etc.--so I can utilize that for writing while I'm home. After I write my new intro for Duality. Grr argh. So much to do... But I can't imagine doing anything else.

Q4U: How do you guys utilize your writing time? Any tips will be greeeeeeatly appreciated :D


Elaine AM Smith said...

I don't utilise my time: I play a complex game of procrastination and catch-up. Sorry to be less than useful.

Chris Phillips said...

I drink like a lot and then I start typing when the voices come. I really have a difficult time keeping focused so I try to write a vague agenda and goals before writing. Would work at home, but not if you are writing during dead spots at work.

How long is the book of Enoch? I think you should quote it in the original Ge'ez language and then when publishers/agents/critics ask about it act really indignant and offended that they don't know why you did it.

Also really curious about what you do for a novel outline. I've done them for kids' books but never for a novel.

lexcade said...

Elaine, procrastination is a form of organization. So congrats! You're still organized, just in your own way :D

Chris, I have started drinking a little when I write, and it works out pretty well for about 20 minutes, but then I just get tired and loopy... I'm a lightweight...

I downloaded the Book of Enoch from some random website. It includes a lot of notes and random stuff. In Word, it's about 161 pages or so. I'm only interested in the section on the Watchers, but I wanted to get it from the source rather than from various googlings. I love the idea about quoting in the original language! "It's part of my artistic vision! If you can't appreciate it, then I don't think I want to work with you!"

As far as my outlines go, I've only EVER outlined two novels (the two I mentioned in the post), and because the storytelling is drastically different, so is my methodology for both. Taming the Ancients is a multiple POV novel where the different narrators are basically trying to converge on one point. So what I'm working on for that one is where everyone begins and what they do to get to that point.

Spark, however, I've managed to put into a bullet-point list. It's vaguely like a synopsis, as in I know what's happening at the beginning, a bit about the middle, and a sense of the ending, but all things are subject to change.

I don't include subplots just because for me--being a pantser and all--they don't always reveal themselves until I'm writing the novel. My subconscious likes to be tricksy that way.

I hope some of that helps. There's no right or wrong way to outline. Just whatever helps you get your thoughts in order. I know of writers who LOOOOOVE the snowflake method, those who use index cards or post-it notes, those who still make webs, those who don't outline AT ALL and hope for the best. It all depends on what helps you the most.