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.
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.
xo – Pierr