Last night I fired up Scrivener*, a wonderful writer’s tool for Macintosh (and now Windows!**), and started to attempt to plot more. And it worked–I was able to complete the outline for Part I, and most of Part II, along with very broad-stroke outlines for the last two chapters of Part II and Part III. I’m torn on whether I’ll start the actual writing before I finish the outline or not. Either way will work fine.
Anyway, I’m using a three part structure for the book. Part 1 sets the stage and gets the characters from the completed Chapter 1 to Chapter 8, where the stakes rise. Part 2 will be the awakening, and the meat of the story. Part 3 will be the climax and resolution, as well as setting the stage for future books.
Best of all, Chapter 9, the midpoint of the book, will be what Jim Butcher calls “The Big Swampy Middle,” where many books get lost, and I’m using one of his strategies to get through it–the “secondary story,” which in this case is a ritual the protagonist will have to go through, and it will be written in such a way that it could in fact stand as its own short story, much as C.S. Friedman’s In Cold Blood has a chapter that stood apart as a short before the book was published.
Anyway, it looks like things are back on track.
*A writing program I highly reccomend–and it’s fairly inexpensive, with a rather generous license.
** I haven’t used the Windows version, but if it’s half as good as the Mac version, it’s worth getting–though you still have to deal with Windows issues.
I started this blog as a way of trying to reclaim my writing–to motivate me to write more often. I need to do more, it seems.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of sitting at home every day trying to write. If I could, I dare say I’d have a novel done by now. But that’s not my life. I’m a full time teacher, a grad student, and the father of a four year-old girl who (rightly so) loves to spend time with her daddy and who, perhaps more importantly, her daddy loves to spend time with. How’s that for a bad sentence?
This isn’t an excuse–there is still time for writing, and I could carve out some more time. I could go to the coffee shop down the street (for now) when it’s my wife’s turn to put our daughter to bed. Or I could dig out my office (which for the past six months was the temporary abode of our niece, and is thus covered in junk that isn’t mine) and go in there during those times so I can concetrate (writing in front of the TV works sometimes, but not often).
The problem is that I spend so much creative juice, so to speak, in my job that when I go home I feel like the LAST thing I want to do is try to squeeze out of my head whatever it is Jason and Azhan, or Teren, or Callie, are doing just now. But if I don’t, then I’ll never reach the point where I can be a full-time writer.
So I’ll need to get on that. And on getting my fiddling skills back on track. And on playing that bloody Bodhran I asked for for Christmas 2009 and play only when I’m alone.
I’m a hell of a procrastinator. Time to nip that crap in the bud.