Friday, November 6, 2009

getting started on my fourth novel

I haven't written in two days. I'm a bit stumped on the plot which means I haven't gotten to know the characters good enough yet.

In history there's the "great events" versus "great men" theory. Do great men cause great events or do great events cause great men? In Story, Robert McKee says they're interactive. Only he talks about structure and characters. If you change the characters you change the structure — change the structure, change the characters. Interdependent is a better word. Yes, interdependent. This makes sense to me. So, also in history it is most likely neither but both — men and events interact, are interdependent.

All of which takes me away from the novel. I have started researching to find some facts that might inspire me. I've also pulled up all my old notes from the first novel, as the novel I'm working on is book two of the trilogy. Some of the process is made easier by using Scrivener, a writing software that I have on free trial until the 15th of December. Then, if I "win" (by writing 50,000 words by Nov. 30th) I can purchase the software for half price. Such a deal! Right? Yes!

Scrivener makes the process easier by letting me keep all my research and notes in one place. No more going out into the distracting hard drive to search for something. It's all right there whether PDF, text file, document or web page. The only file format I haven't been able to import is Excel (or Numbers).

Scrivener also makes it easier by letting me organize my writing by character, chapter, or/and scene. Then, with one touch of a button, it will "compile" my book into industry approved manual format for submission. Pretty cool.

It also has a little indicator at the bottom of the screen where I input number of words I intend to write. That part is nice and scary. Nice because I can see my word count go up as I type and scary because it isn't high enough. It's amazing how difficult it is to get going and how easy it is to do a 5,000-word day by the end of the month.

I've also discovered that, as before, it takes a few thousand words to get into the groove. Which shows me that writing every day is a very good thing. Ya know, it's a skill that needs to be practiced. Sure it's like riding a bike, but a trick bike. And just like you need to keep up your tone and skill for extreme biking you need it for extreme novelling, too. If only every day writing were as much fun as NaNoWriMo.

[big sigh] No excuses! Must write.

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