Turning that great idea into a story

That really is the first part isn’t it. You have this great idea and it seems cool and interesting. If you read something like this on the back of a book you would buy it, so then you start writing the back blurb, think about character development, what is the actual conflict, plot points and possible scene breakdowns. Your relaxing shower is now not so relaxing, Oh that’s right this shit is work. What was a fun thought in your head, while enjoying your five minutes of peace known commonly as a morning shower, starts looking like months or years of work.

This is the mental Ferris wheel my mind keeps doing. I started searching around the internet for information on how my favorite authors managed to write while still having a day job that wasn’t writing.Β  What I found was that Charles Stross managed to write one novel in 3 years while working full time although Seanan McGuire manages 3 novels a year, neither of them have 2 kids. So maybe I need to get used to the idea that this really is just a hobby for me as I have a full life.

That said I still want to write and am drawn to working on the process of novel writing. So then I guess that I just have to be patient with myself and plod along. The path may be slow and steep but that will no doubt make that first time I am published all the sweeter.

The ideas keep coming and I am taking the time to write them down. I found a new book about writing – Million Dollar Outlines – David Farland. This had quite a few ‘a ha’ moments for me. I am collecting a good number of references that help in crafting an outline. Each day is about taking one more step in turning those ideas into finished manuscripts..

Happy Writing πŸ™‚

 

 

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New Year, New Plans

Big Sigh. Yep NaNoWriMo was a big FAIL. I was sick the week before and after a great start on day one I just couldn’t figure out where I was going. So after spending a week not writing I decided to try to figure out what the problem was and start dealing with that. The short answer, after some soul searching and research, is that I needed a very detailed plan to cope with such a big daily word output.

This then led to the realization that I didn’t know how to do that, at least not in a way that I was happy with, so I started researching. Firstly I came across Rock Your Plot and purchased the ebook and audio book. There is also a great website with further resources. Then I added to what I learned there with a great post on Advance Fiction Writing. Between these two sites I had created a spreadsheet to start filling out scene by scene.

The next road block I faced was when looking at all the scenes/sequences that I needed to sketch out. I turned to Jim Butcher’s series of posts on Live Journal (he writes the series The Dresden Files) for some advice. Might as well go to a professional whose work I love. His posts made a lot of sense but I still needed something more.

Digging deeper I started to read Story Structure Architect. This had 55 dramatic situations to delve into and now I was starting to get my head around how to weave my story and manage subplots.

There is still much reading and work to do but now I have the beginnings of a structure to weave a story around.

Happy Writing πŸ™‚

 

 

NaNoWriMo – Day One

So today it begins. I have been thinking all week that I just couldnt see where I was going to get the time each day to write. Not without something else having to give. I thought I was going to have to face defeat before even starting. Dread for today was all I was feeling and a sense of loss.

Then this morning in bed I said to my partner that today was the day if I was going to do NaNoWriMo but I feared I just couldn’t pull it off. And then I was given the sweetest and scariest gift. The offer was made to put our eldest to bed each night during November and give me that time to write. This is often a few hows of quiet. Now I have no excuse. The nerves have kicked in but I will just have to put that aside and start writing tonight.

Deep Breaths

Good luck fellow writers πŸ™‚

Recovery

Well two weeks after having sleeve surgery I am further behind in my lead up to NaNoWriMo. I did manage to crank out a couple of plans but haven’t gotten my research done and haven’t really settled on a detailed enough outline that will satisfy my tight schedule.

Still it doesn’t start until the end of the week. So I still have a few days to try to get things together. We will see where I am come Nov 1st. I am not hopeful at this point but I haven’t given up yet either. Only time will tell.

Good night and good luck my fellow writers xx

Im taking a writing class ‘NaNoWriMo – Producing 50, 000 words in a month’

 

So after getting ready to try out my short story plan my life took a turn for the busy and I only managed to write on two days and produce approx 300 words per 30 min block. What should have been obvious to me was that I needed to have a tighter plan for the actual story outline, something as detailed as the structure with word count plan. I had planned this for the 50, 000 word story but thought I might be able to manage without this for 5000 words. Ah no. Big fail. Also I never did actually decide when or how I was going to get time to write. Yeah that doesn’t work either.

Ok back to the drawing board. I have 23 days to research and produce a plan for how I am going to tackle NaNoWriMo 2013 with some possibility for success. I have two weeks off work, I am having surgery, not life threatening but it will provide me with time to scope out this problem and provide a workable solution. I think the things I need to tackle are:

  • Time management
  • Story research
  • Detailed daily story points overview

I am going to have to trust that the only way to succeed is to not give up. Its a bit like getting my degree. I did unit after unit over serveral years towards a very specific goal. This time the end goal is becoming a published novelist. Although this is more like external studies where you have a task that you do by yourself outside of the rigid structure of attending classes.

The first unit I am doing is ‘NaNoWriMo – Producing 50, 000 words in a month’. I remember many a unit that I took, especially in the beginning, when I doubted that I could pass it and therefore fail to gain my degree. In the end it was that I never gave up no matter how much I doubted myself. I would just try to look at the task I had in front of me at that moment and get on with it. This is just the same. The doubt is still there. I never feel like I can do something until I have done it. Sometimes I did fail a unit. The only thing to do was go straight back and try again. The second time around I always wondered why I thought this was hard the first time. The road to success for me seems plagued with doubt and some failure but it is a road to success.

So nothing to do but keep trying.

Goodnight and good luck fellow writers πŸ™‚

 

Short Story Plan

Ok, been a busy week at work and home but I wanted to put this plan out there. I ended up breaking my original plan down to a 10th its size. I will attempt to use it to start writing next week and although I may not do this day by day I will try to write the word count on the days I do write. I will post a diary for how this goes. If I did manage to do it each day it would take 10 days but I don’t know that I can fit that in. I am thinking that every every second or third day will be more likely. We’ll see.

The Plan

Beat Beat Beat Daily Word Count
Opening Image:50 Theme Stated:50 Set-up:400 500
Catalyst:100 Debate:400 500
Debate:200 Break into Two:50 B Story:250 500
Fun and Games:500 500
Fun and Games:500 500
Fun and Games:200 Midpoint:50 Bad Guys Close In:250 500
Bad Guys Close In:200 All is Lost:50 Dark Night of the Soul:250 500
Dark Night of the Soul:200 Break Into Three:50 Finale:250 500
Finale:500 500
Finale:450 Final Image:50 500

Good luck and good night πŸ™‚

Writing a short story

Having a short story or series of short stories published in magazines is the recommended way to gain an agent and the ever elusive publishing deal. Getting a short story published has kicked off a number of big authors careers. Stephen King is a great example of an author who started his career having his short stories published in magazines before his first book Carrie was picked up by DoubleDay.

When I attended my first science fiction convention, I was lucky enough to start at the top with 5 days at the World Science Fiction Convention – AussieCon4 which was held inΒ  Melbourne 2010, I listened to panel after panel of writers, agents, publishers and editors recommend establishing a short story publication track record to assist in getting your novel published.

So after my planning attempt at a novel for NaNoWriMo I had a moment of clarity. Why not scale this plan down for the purposes of a short story? I have yet to do this but it’s now on my todo list for this week.

I need to be organised to get anything extra into weeks that are consumed by a job and family. Successfully planning and writing a short story would be a great achievement for me and a chance to test drive a scaled down version of my NaNoWriMo plan.

I will let you know how I go and post the modified outline, hopefully in a few days.

Good night and good luck my fellow writers πŸ™‚