Novel Days – Week 8

July 22, 2014 § 6 Comments

Personality-type wise, I’m someone who likes to make lists. Have a plan to ford.

my novel takes place over 12 days - in 75 chapters

my novel takes place over 12 days (left column) – in 75 chapters…short ones

There are all kinds of ways to plan things out on the computer these days – charts and graphs and Scrivener has a fabulous ‘Binder’ feature and virtual cork board where you can post index cards. I’ve been typing this third draft up in Scrivener, its chapters all organized and tidy, but there comes a point where I need to touch a real piece of paper, chart a course with a real pen and pencil. Use real Post-Its and highlighter pens on a big paper map.

From the start, I knew the novel would take place over 12 specific days in one particular month. My rough draft wasn’t written with the kind of detail you see in the photo above at all. My only plan was to write 300 pages, getting it down any way I could. It was all over the place. And that was a good thing. First and second draft I honed things in a bit, deciding what I liked and what might keep the plot rolling along. In fact, at that point I was thinking I could skip the writing of five days in the last week because once I had the narrator’s routine down for the reader, I figured no use repeating herself, right? Well, that may end up being true, but now – in this third draft – I’m feeling the need to know every detail of these 12 days so if/when I cut stuff in a fourth draft, I will know and understand what I’m leaving out rather than feel as if I’m lying to the reader somehow. Withholding.

In other words, at this point in the process I’m seeing how important it is to know the back story and the consequences of choices the narrator makes even if the writing of them never appears in the final draft. Maybe that’s why it takes so long to birth one of these (at least for me).

TIP: You gotta know.

sorry - blurry on purpose - Here's the last week of the novel, yellow highlighter to mark the chapters written

sorry – blurry on purpose – Here’s the last 8 days of the novel – yellow highlighter marking chapters written…as of July 22 I have 20 more to write – short ones :o)

xo – Pierr



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§ 6 Responses to Novel Days – Week 8

  • Nice. Ooh that really makes my brain get all wiggly, Pierr. I love making lists. I’ve even made a quickie list of the lists I plan to make prior to a trip or packing, or planning uh pretty much anything.
    And I’m with you on the old-fashioned way. My personal preference is a mechanical pencil and a big Gum Eraser.

    Exciting to see how everything’s coming along. Can’t wait to read the finished product when it’s all done!

    • pierrmorgan says:

      Haha! Fellow list-maker, eh? (I’m an INFJ on the Myers Briggs personality test) Oh yeah…your mechanical pencil’s probably one of those sparkly blue or red numbers you can see the lead through, turning it out bit by bit at the eraser end-so cool. Big Gum? You like those crumble shavings, eh? I’m a white softy eraser = Staedtler Mars. Thanks for your cheers, Marla!!

  • Novel writing, ah, I knew you once! Haven’t written one in over a decade now, but you bring it all back. Hard to believe that my first 3 were on a typewriter. And now the likes of Scrivener! It’s still the same work, creating a world. I’m an ENFJ so I can relate to the lists and notes and general J-ness, too. As some wise person said, novels aren’t so much written as re-written. I admire your stamina and vision…among your other lovely qualities. Press on!

    • pierrmorgan says:

      You sure did write novels! My latest Tucson trip, Christine put the stack of them in front of me. I started reading “All of the Above”- wonderful voice, full characters, multi-layered…I can only partly imagine (since this is my first attempt) the intricate lists and charts you must have made to keep the balls juggling in that plot. And on a typewriter! I still have my Swiss made Hermes 3000, but I sure can’t peck one of the keys without my finger getting stuck in it. Thanks so much for your shower of encouragement and compliments!

  • I have to tell you, Pierr, I was so surprised and flattered that Christine had those books, and even more so that you read AOTA! Mahalo for the smiles. xxoo

    • pierrmorgan says:

      Hey you got FANS, honey! Years before I ever met you I’d hear about the next novel you were working on. I was in awe. A master storyteller, you. Glows from your blog, too. So you’re welcome for the smiles and I say Mahalo back, for having forged that novel path before me.

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