Saturday, October 22, 2005

Still Digging In

I've been debating a couple of approaches for turning my excitement over NaNoWriMo into productive work without actually beginning to write my project. I thought I might read a couple of third-person viewpoint books, but I don't want to get trapped into trying to emulate them (I suppose I could read something like one of the later Wheel of Time books - the viewpoint writing is strong, but the story late in the series is shitty enough that I won't be tempted to emulate it). I thought I might get into doing really deep background on the characters, but I don't like creating elaborate backstories that I might never use. I thought I might try to wrap up Flip before Nov. 1 (a truly crazy thing to attempt, since I have no idea how much longer it will go). Yesterday I came up with the idea of writing another Digger short story to satisfy my Digger jones without working on the book, but I don't want to get myself distracted too much from the task (soon to be) at hand.

In the meantime, I'm still developing story elements, and really surprising myself at the ideas I've come up with. I'm not rocketing along like I was when I came up with an almost full plot outline in one afternoon, but I'm still filling in motivations for particular scenes, backstories, names for characters. And what really gives me hope here is that I'm not coming up with, say, backstory for the sake of backstory, but everything I'm coming up with is being done to fill holes in the existing framework, so that it's actually useful.

I'm also trying to avoid one of the problems I had on Blue Falcon, which was that I wrote down lots of ideas, but then misplaced the notes, because I had so many pieces of things scattered among different notebooks and pieces of scratch paper. I still occasionally find Blue Falcon turning up and read them and say, "That's a pretty good idea. I'm sorry I forgot about that one." This time, almost everything except a few character bios and the index card plot outline is in one notebook. I'll go through right before I start writing and either transcribe the notes onto the existing cards for the scenes they describe, or perhaps into a spreadsheet that serves the same purpose. Then the cards go up onto the bulletin board in my office, and as I complete each scene, BAM! a big X goes across the card. I'm hoping it will be a motivator to see proof of the progress I'm making in such a dramatic visual way.

Maybe I'll use red X's.

No comments: