Sunday, May 21, 2006

Will Take Another Week to Plan Next Novel

After more reflection I've decided to take one more week to plan HARRY VS. THE TRUCK. Although I feel I could start the novel today, I do not want to rush it. Since I'll be taking another week, I will hold off on posting the back-cover blurb until next week, in case it is revised further.

What drives me to take more time, when I'm so eager to get into the writing, is an idea I have that I should target one or two parts of the process with each successive novel and do my best to improve in those areas.

I know one area I want to target with my next novel is the planning of scenes, making sure I have a clear sense of a goal, complication and resolution for each one before I start writing it. With my last novel, I usually did, but sometimes I was figuring things out as I wrote, and that is frustrating to me since I like to know what I'm doing as much as possible. In particular, I want more direct practice in thinking of complications -- the character wants to do something, but what can happen to make that difficult? To thwart the effort altogether? I want to sharpen my ability to quickly grasp relevant obstacles.

A second area is to try to come up with a more complete Master Scene List for my next novel as part of the planning phase, rather than looking back during the editing phase. Again, I did create this for my last novel, but there were a number of scenes I eneded up writing that I did not envision initially. It's fine to go with inpspiration -- I just want to sharpen my ability to anticipate things that need to be there. To accomplish this, I want to take the twelve steps in my outline and break them down into scenes (two or three each). These scenes could be considered chapters when the novel is finished.

Therefore, I'll take the coming week to flesh out the 12-step outline into a Master Scene List and have clear goals / complications / resolutions for the scenes. I should finish this by the weekend, no later than next Sunday. What I produce could serve as a list of actual chapters.

I'll post during the week on any breakthroughs, obstacles, or insights I gain along the way as I take my planning to the next level!



Sue said...

My goodness, a girl doesn't check in for a few days and when she does she finds she has a lot of reading to catch up on. :o)

It was interesting to read the process you went through to choose which novel you'll be working on next. And how you are going to incorporate the things you learned while completing your first novel, as well as, expanding and improving those techniques.


P.S. I've shared some really fun news over in my blog, come checked it out when you get the chance.

Adrian Swift said...

Sue, visited your blog and enjoyed the hilarious dialogue between you and your character.

Congratulations on your acceptance for publication! That's great news!

[Note: There is a link to Susan Flemming's blog in the sidebar under "Other Writers".]

Sue said...

Thank you, Adrian, for the compliment and the congratulations.

At the risk of repeating my reply to your reply in my blog... I did want to reply here as well, in case the readers of your blog could benefit from my experience.

It's been almost six years since I've had anything published. I haven't been submitting for a variety of reasons. And my writing life has had it's ups and downs. Ups when the ideas and writing are flowing... downs when I question if I'm even a real writer, because it takes me so long to write stories and have them come out the way I want them to. And I do wonder if I have what it takes to make it in the publishing industry.

So getting that acceptance was a validation of sorts. If that makes sense.

Adrian Swift said...

Sue, the issues you raise are important enough that I'll create a seperate posting on my main page to deal with them. I believe these issues are universal to writers and we all deal with them. Thanks for your courage in sharing.

I have no doubt you can write. The challenge is to navigate the process, something I've finally found a way to do that works for me after 14 years of trying. Now I'm finding it's not so hard after all, if I keep the right ideas in mind.

Anyway, I'll post my two cents worth in case it's of value to others. Thanks again for your posting, and keep writing!