Monday, May 10, 2010

It's nice to have a plan

I'm embarrassed to say that I did absolutely no writing this weekend.  I know, I know...I just announced that I would have and meet a daily word count goal...but I failed.  For this weekend at least.  Honestly, I've been stuck at this one point in my novel that I just can't seem to move past.  The section is BORING.  I don't want to write it.  But I need the background and character development that the scene will provide.

Some time last night, as I was tossing and turning in bed, I finally recognized that if I'm bored writing it, the reader will probably be bored reading it.  I realized that I am probably going to have to tear apart the scene and re-work it, maybe even delete the whole section.  I also realized that I needed to organize a timeline to help pace the novel better.

So what did I do, you ask?

Today at lunch, I worked on a new plan.  I printed out blank calendar pages and plotted the major story events as actual days.  I'm sure I got the idea from someone else - I can't imagine it's an original - but it's a process I hadn't completed for my novel.  I was working from nothing; no outline, minimal research, and very little in the way of written background or character bios.  I have a story with specific plot points that I want to hit, but they only existed in my head until now.

(Side note: I think I'm doing things slightly out of order seems that most writers spend some time plotting and doing research for their work before they actually start writing it.  What can I say?  I'm a newb.)

Anyway, the exercise was extremely helpful.  I even came up with some new plot points and ideas for where I want the story to go.  I kept it all in pencil though, so that I can easily erase and change the timeline.  For future reference, I will be making my story calendar before I start writing.  It's nice to have a plan.

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