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™‚




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™‚



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™‚