Monday, July 24, 2006

And so it begins...

For many years, I've wanted to write a novel. The genre has changed, as have my story ideas, but the desire was always there. Having recently firmed up my ideas on genre (or whatever you call the category I've chosen - it's certainly not doable with a one-word descriptor) and story, I decided there was no time like the present. If I never get started, I'll never get done. Or published.

Everything was still very nebulous in my head until Friday afternoon, when all of a sudden part of a scene kind of crystallized. So I started e-mailing myself notes on it and it just turned into about 2500 words. (Novel manuscripts, I have learned, are measured in words instead of pages, as the latter tend to be fairly relative to the program one is writing in.) My current goal is about 100,000 words. We'll see how that goes as the story develops.

For the moment, what I have kind of picks up in medias res with the (erstwhile) wedding/handfasting of the two main characters. I haven't actually found a name for the male lead yet, so he is [] for now. I'm following the writing style of my favorite author and inspiration, Diana Gabaldon, in that I just write, and whatever I don't know goes in brackets until such time as I can research and know what to put there. So sprinkled through my scene I have such gems as [Bad Guy], [prison], [home], etc. That way the image and flow of the scene I have in my head is not disrupted by stopping to look up, for example, the style of shirt worn in Scotland in the early 1700's. It seems to work so far.

My current plan is to start with what I have and the rest of the story idea that has come to me, and write until I get it all covered in basic form. Then do any research necessary to fill in the brackets, and add to/edit as I go along. At that point I hope to have some idea of the beginning and end framework, and I'll sketch those out. Then fill in those brackets, etc. Then I'll check my word count and see if I need to go back and flesh it out some more. Then I'll begin the process of read-though and edits. And we'll see what happens from that point on.


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