Words/Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”
Most of this time was spent continuing the character interview that I started yesterday, and the rest was spent reading through most of the original, unfinished version of “Unexpectedly.” This particular conversation has reached its conclusion, and I am ready to proceed with the outline.
My writing-time goal in February was to average 30 minutes per day. I surpassed, even making up for several days here and there of not writing at all. I probably won’t set my daily goal higher for March, but with April comes Camp NaNoWriMo, so I may push myself more then. It’ll depend on what’s going on at work by then.
Words/Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”
I started out going over the broad plot points from the original version of “Unexpectedly,” marking out things I knew I wouldn’t keep. At that point, I realized that there were some things that happened that weren’t supported in the new world in which this story takes place. So I wrote out questions and brainstormed answers.
With those new answers in mind, I felt a little uncertain about the timeline of the first half of the story, so I decided it might be a good time to talk to the 2 leads in this section of the book. I didn’t go into this character interview with specific questions, like I normally do, but the discussion so far has cleared up some questions I didn’t even know I had, which is what I suspected would happen. I will continue the interview tomorrow.
Words/Time: 37 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”
In many ways, as I realized today, I have been already working on the outline for this book. It started with just listing thoughts for each of the 4 main characters that were going to be in the book, but I wrote out those notes in a very similar format to how I usually write my outlines. So now it’s a matter of putting them into Scrivener, scene by scene.
Actually, I realized at the end of my time today that before I do that, I need to go back to the original writing of “Unexpectedly” and figure out what of that story is worth keeping and what isn’t helpful to this book.
See, originally, this story was written as fanfiction for an MMORPG I used to play called Ragnarok Online. It was one of the last stories I was working on when I decided to stop writing fanfiction and either write something original or stop writing. It was the only story I never finished in that format. It was basically pure romance.
The secondary main character in that story will be one of the 4 main characters in the new book. And the focus is on the lives of all 4 people, who are all involved in a small-scale civil war. So his story will only be (approximately) 1/4 of the entire thing. Add to that the fact that the original version was told mostly from the PoV of his romantic partner, and a lot of the original story is going to be extemporaneous. So tomorrow, I need to go through the original story and decide what to keep and what to cut.
Words/Time: 46 minutes doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly.”
The structure I’m tentatively going with for this story is that there are 4 characters whose lives will be shown, mostly before and leading up to the war that they are all involved in, and a little after. Two of these characters are on the “good guys” side, and two are on the “bad guys” side.
I truly thought that I would have a lot more story for the good guys than for the bad guys, and wasn’t sure if that was okay or not. But I have so far written out the very broad plot points for 3 of the 4 characters, one of the being one of the bad guys, and so far, I have more written down for one of the bad guys than the 2 good guys. I have to keep in mind, though, that one of the good guys’ notes may be deceptively short, because I know his story better than the others already, so I don’t think I wrote as much detail for his, because I figured I knew it all already.
Either way, I’m pleased with the ideas I’ve come up with for the bad guys, and tomorrow will try to finish my notes for the 4th bad guy (the leader of all of the bad guys, in fact). Though she’s one of my oldest characters, her life outside of how she villainizes some of my main characters is very shallow. So it will take some work to come up with just the right story for her.
I also still need to figure out how I want to structure this story. I know I don’t want to just tell the entire story of 1 person, then the entire story of another, etc. But how do I intermix them? I don’t have any clue yet.
Words/Time: 50 minutes mostly doing preliminary work for the outline of “Unexpectedly,” after finishing some free writing I started yesterday.
On Friday, I finished #1 in my current list of writing goals. After taking a day to do some free writing before going on to #2, I dove right in today.
1. Outline “Outcast”
2. Outline “Unexpectedly” – I have a lot less of a plot in mind for this story, but I think it will be easier to outline than Outcast, because there’s not as much there to start with—not as much that needs broken down and rebuilt. While considering where this book could go, I’ve already hit on some new ideas that I’m really excited about.
3. Re-outline “The Seeger Book”
4. Re-outline “Vin”
5. Re-outline “Protector”
I am not 100% certain about the plot for “Unexpectedly,” but I do have some solid ideas. I just don’t know what the structure will be like, or if a couple of sub-plots are strong enough. I have to sort through the ideas before starting the actual outline.
My work on this today involved first outlining what will likely become the main plot, which is a plot line I’ve had planned for a long time, and have partially wrote. Then I went on to the largest sub-plot, writing out thoughts about what should be included and how. This involved research into what term would most likely make sense for a character to call his great-grandfather, that would be a twisting of a real term in use today, in this region of the world. I’m actually really surprised I came up with something, considering how obscure my preference seemed to be.
Words/Time: 33 minutes free writing.
I read a prompt on another blog last week that had me thinking all week about what I would write for it. Not surprisingly, it was romance-related, which seems to get my creative juices flowing more than anything else these days. After cycling through my most main characters in my books, I landed on using my newest main characters, from “Protector,” for the prompt. I spent some time writing that today (and also going back through a few parts of “Protector” and its outline to help me remember a few details).
Because I finished a task on my writing goals list yesterday, I thought today would be a good day to stop and write this down while I was thinking about it. I really need to do more free writing anyway. It’s not finished, though, and I need to go to bed early to get up early, so I’ll work on it more tomorrow and, time willing, also start on a new goal.
Words/Time: 35 minutes working on the outline for “Outcast.”
After working on lining up the 2 storylines of this book in Scrivener for 35 minutes, I realized that it may not be possible to match them up yet. When I wrote the original version of this story, I wrote the storylines separately, and then lined them up afterward, breaking them into chapters at that time.
I’ve seen over the years that other writers can estimate how long their planned scenes will be (by word count), can know in advance where chapter breaks will be, and other things like that. I’ve never been great at any of that. It’s easier to me to just write the full story as it comes and break it up later. I’m putting a hold on trying to line up the storylines now, because I do think it will be a waste of time.
This means that, unless tomorrow reveals something I am not thinking of now, I have completed #1 on my current list of writing goals, and frankly, much more quickly than I expected.
Words/Time: 1 hour, 19 minutes working on the outline for “Outcast.”
It took some doing, but I finished the outline for the 2nd storyline. I had to hash out a few more questions, mostly about how to get the right people to the final location for the storyline. I also had to go back to previous conversations I’ve had with certain characters to make sure I remembered correctly how the final scene should go.
I also made the mistake of looking up something in “Vin,” which turned into just reading for several minutes. Maybe this sounds strange to be so surprised about, but even though I wrote it during NaNoWriMo, and it needs a lot of work, I have a difficult time pulling myself away from “Vin” if I start to read any part of it.
Tomorrow I plan to start putting the outline into Scrivener, broken into scenes as best as I can plan them, to see how the storylines will match up.
Words/Time: 1 hour finishing character interviews before continuing the outline for “Outcast.”
Talking with 2 of the main characters in “Outcast” accomplished exactly what it was meant to. I am ready to go back to my outline. I now have a new question about how the 2 separate storylines in this book are going to line up, because I think it’s safe to say it won’t work out exactly like it did in the original version. But I’m going to finish the outline for storyline 2, and then use Scrivener to see how the storylines will match up.
I don’t know about others who have conversations with their characters, but this is what mine look like most of the time:
Different colors for different characters. I’m always purple.
Words/Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes doing some character interviews before continuing the outline for “Outcast.”
Ever since I discovered how incredibly insightful it can be to bring in a character or two and ask them questions related to where I’m stuck in my planning stage, it has been something I’ve really enjoyed. Today I asked two characters to help me hash out what’s missing from this story. I only knew that it needed to focus more on Remiel and his character. I’ve already realized that I need to further explore the similarity between Remiel and the woman he’s trying to help, how they both have a past they’re not proud of.
Of course, we already got sidetracked from that discussion to help me understand how much Remiel would know about a particular event and person involved, and that’s where we left off. I will continue this interview tomorrow, and expect some really helpful insights to come out of it. I just hope more of a plot does as well.