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Archive for May, 2008

Let It Snow

I finished up the dossiers for the five main characters in the new novel. The last item on each was a paragraph that explained that character’s storyline. Funny thing was that when I got to the end of the fifth one, I realized that none of them matched all of the details (where people met, etc.) so I went back and tweaked them to bring the mini stories more in line with one another.

Step Four, then, was to expand on the basic storyline I created in Step Two. That was fun; I had to go back several times and adjust details about the characters and even the main story arc. It took three or four tries, so I guess it’s not exactly writing itself (stupid lazy story, making me do all the work.) I think the story that’s forming is a good one, so the extra effort is paying off.

Step Five is to write a one-page synopsis of the story from each character’s point of view. This should be where the details of the story become solidified. Each character has a role to play, so it will be interesting to see how each perceives his or her place in the grand scheme. I should also start to see where minor characters will be needed to provide supporting roles.

All in all, things are going well. I’ll only be able to tell if this method is working once the final product (the rough draft) is complete, but so far I have a good feeling about it.

Well, back to work.

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As I mentioned last time, I began work on my next novel using the “snowflake method.” I got as far as Step Two (of ten) and started spinning my wheels. Step Two is where I take the simple one-sentence storyline that I wrote in Step One and expand it into a paragraph. My original inspiration for this new novel was a shocking moment that would build into a horror story. The concept veered off that path pretty quickly, and the story seemed more like a suspense thriller than a scary tale.

As I worked on Step Two, the story idea morphed once more, this time into a detective procedural. That’s totally not what I wanted to write. I worked at it for a while, but I can’t seem to get away from the detective thing.

So I’m chucking the story back into the bucket of ideas. I’ll let it sit for the time being and see if it eventually becomes what I need it to be. In the meantime, I pulled another idea from the pail and started working on it. It’s pure science fiction, which I enjoy writing. I’ve quickly moved to Step Three, where I flesh out the characters. I already like the protagonist and have a good feeling about his two companions. The bad guy is still little more than a sketch, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a total badass.

The storyline came together very quickly (it almost wrote itself, as they say.) If I take the time to think it through, I have a feeling the story will be huge. I just need to pace myself and build a believable world that’s big enough to hold the yarn that’s unraveling in my head.

Now if only I could spend my days writing instead of going to work…

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Wow, it’s been a long time since my last post. I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing for the past couple of weeks, though. I’ve actually had a lot of stuff going on.

I’ve started reading my novel aloud, which is really weird. I talk to myself a lot (I’m usually the only one who will listen) but reading out loud causes me to focus on my voice, since that’s the point of the whole thing, and it’s odd to be in a quiet room with just me talking. It’s going well, though. It really does make it easier to find poorly written sentences and typos. Reading on the computer screen just doesn’t do it.

I also joined the Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror a while back, and have been spending some time reading and reviewing people’s stuff as well as preparing a new story of my own to post and get feedback on.

I’ve also picked a story idea to work on for my next novel. I’m not sure yet what form it’s going to take. I thought it would be horror, but it’s looking more like suspense/mystery. The beginning is starting to flesh out, and I’ve got a couple ideas for further along. I’m thinking of trying the “Snowflake Method” for writing it, as I mentioned a while back. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how that goes.

And then, of course, there’s my day job, my political blog, my friends’ political blogs, books to read, movies to watch, family to visit. You know how it goes–not enough hours in the day.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. Thanks for stopping by.

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