Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Something I've consciously chosen to try with this novel is to effect a very specific pacing. It's basically alternating dialogue/slow action chapters with high action/conflict chapters. There's some conflict in each chapter, of course, otherwise it gets boring quickly - "the trees were bright green" description for an entire chapter gets old fast - but with my outline this works out well.

Here's an example. Let's say our heroes are on a mission to find the mystical foobar. We'll start off by having them talk about why it's important to find the foobar, and set out on their mission. Then, they run into a nasty storm and have to fight their way through it in a gripping, life-or-death situation! After that, they get to a town and ask around for the location of the foobar, and some of the heroes show their flaws by (verbally) fighting with the group's leader. Next up, they move on to the location of the foobar, and encounter the foobar's guardian in a big showdown!

My hope is that this keeps readers interested and gives good opportunities for character development. We'll see how it works out, but so far it seems to be pretty good. I'm at 29 chapters right now; my expectation is that the book will end at about 38-40. It's not precisely alternating "one chapter slow, one chapter fast" but it's close enough that the pacing seems to work out.

What comes next?

I've been asked what comes next for this book, and what it means to say that I'm at "67000 words" (or whatever).

A novel is considered something over 75000 words, and once you get up to about 150000 or so it becomes an "epic" (aka a really big novel). I'm aiming for something like 100000 words; my first book was about 105000 when it was done. So if I say I'm at 67,000 words I'm about 67% of the way done on the first draft.

But the last half of the book usually seems to go faster than the first, for me. I've got the outline done; I know where things are going in my head, it's just getting them on paper. That speeds things up - for me, at least.

Once I'm done with the first draft, I'll do a first editing run on the computer. This is where I do major changes - pulling out entire scenes or chapters, rearranging events, ripping out unneeded exposition, backfilling details and clues to match up with later parts of the book.

Next I'll print out the whole manuscript and go over it on paper with a pen. Here, I'll look for issues with phrasing, tense, pacing, etc. that I didn't catch on the screen. Sentences will get rearranged or cut. Description will be added. Things like that.

After I do those edits, I'll be ready to send the manuscript out to people who have asked to be on the F&F review list. Hopefully they'll get comments back to me relatively quickly :) I won't agree with all of the feedback, of course, but they're good pointers as to what needs to be updated (and if several people tell me the same thing that I don't want to hear, I'll probably decide I need to listen to it anyways!).

At some point, I'll even pick a title!

Writing - Novel 2

65,471 - 68,646
11:40a - 1:02p

and... 68,646 - 70,939
11:29p - 12:18a

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

64083 - 65,471
4:20 pm - 5:10 pm

Did some editing as well on the way through, not just writing. The last couple of weeks have been very busy, but I hope to get some good days in over the next few weeks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

61564 - 64083
3:43pm - 4:50pm

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Writing - Novel 2


Friday, March 5, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

56,268 after pulling out the outline/unneeded prologue/etc. Wrote from 11:45am to 1:11pm and got it back up to 59,891.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

57949 to 59949, 1:07 pm to 1:57 pm. 2000 words exactly. How did I do this today and exactly 3000 the other day? I don't know! It's craaaaaaaaazy!

It's also about time for another editing pass. I think the time has come to rip out the background info, dropped scenes, and outline into its own document, which will give me a more realistic word count (probably dropping me back 3000 words or so, but that's not a bad thing), because I'm not referring back to them regularly any more - the story has its own momentum and I know what's left in the outline well enough that I just need to glance at it once every other writing session or so.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Writing - Novel 2

7:34 pm to 8:32 pm
55056 to 57949

Writing - Novel 2

51130 to 55056, 1:25pm to 2:49pm. Making more good progress. I want to finish the first draft by the end of March, and finish edits and reviews by F&F (friends and family) by the end of April (hopefully sooner for both steps) to start sending it out to agents by May 1.

If you're interested in taking a look at the first draft and sending back suggestions/reviews, drop me an email or a note here.