Archive for November 9th, 2012

More Writing Advice

Not from me, but something that struck a chord with me (and likely may resonate with both my fellow Seton Hill & Viable Paradise peeps. Totes.), about starting novels.

A recent post over at Magical Words (Getting Started & Plotting). Kalayna suggests this will be part of a series (as she works her way through a new project). This got me thinking more about process…

Kalayna uses Scrivener, which is software that I’ve started actively using over the past year, and have so far been drafting my thesis novel using it. My interest in her Scrivener commentary is regarding series production. Specifically her “housekeeping” process intrigues me concerning longer running series (ie – serial characters, especially), especially with regards to keeping the flow of all of the research material accumulated over the course of developing the series. For those not feeling like taking the link, here’s what she does:

 [I] don’t start a new file with each new book. Instead I open the previous book (in the series) and rename the file the working title of the new book. Then I move the previous manuscript out of the active area and into a section I’ve created called previous manuscripts. Each already written book in the series is saved in that section in a folder with it’s title. This makes it very easy to go back and reference the previous books.

While not an issue for me on my current project, I know several folks that are working on the first part of a series for their thesis… They may find this useful (as you may), so I’m sharing the idea.

I am also sharing for the explicit validation for us not-quite-labeled-professional writerly types that this is work, that each of us have a different process for summoning the words, and that we all can do it. And for those that may be interested that don’t normally hit the Magical Words site.

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Thought Experiments…

If you haven’t gone to his blog, Charles Stross throws several out. Sometimes they are just things he’s thinking about because they are relevant to a project he’s working on – which he may or may not explicitly state in the presentation. In those instances, they are a nice glimpse under the hood, to see what is going into the uber-background thoughts of a project. I confess, though, that several of his experiments have left me a little cross-eyed when I’ve tried reading some of them (often, at work, where I’m not really able to fully focus on the content), but I appreciate them nonetheless.

Other times, however, like this one, while just beyond my chance to really engage with it (again, at work), wisps of the post started tickling my imagination, made me start thinking about possible stories.

I mention this here for two reasons: 1) to pimp out Charlie’s blog (not that he really needs it, but still), and 2) reference the specific article for later recovery. Yeah, dwelling on it could be that useful for me soemtime down the road.

Go. Read. Ponder.

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