Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Beginning Work On "THE ISLE"

I'm still finishing up the other project, the non-writing project I've focused on for probably two months now. It'll be done soon, and I'll post details about it once it is. It's really cool.

As that work is winding down to conclusion, I've had the strong desire to get back to my writing. I've decided to stay completely away from any of the novels I had worked on previously and never managed to finish. There is just too much risk of getting caught up in old patterns that weren't successful before, in terms of getting things completed.

In that vein, I've come up with a brand new idea for a novel with the working title of THE ISLE. I am drawing inspiration from a few other novels that have been written that involve islands, but the story and characters are unique. I like the story and it's nice to have a warm, tropical island to spend time on in my writing when otherwise the cold winter weather has arrived.

In the past few days I did some brainstorming, generating some initial plot notes, then used the templates for the tables and charts that I developed last year, a way to further develop the plot and characters. I also wrote a complete and detailed outline of the entire story. At this point I am going to take one more day to look over the outline and reflect on some possible changes, enhancements, and maybe take a little time to do some pre-writing in preparation. One thing I did last year on my last novel was to write a synopsis of the story from each of the main character's POV. It helped a lot with getting me into each character's head. I feel I already understand their personalities and goals/issues in the story, and how they interact, after the outlining, which was done with the four main characters in mind at each step along the way. However, a little writing to get the engines warmed up wouldn't hurt, if I can manage the patience to do it. I'm ready to dive in and start writing, so I don't want to linger too much longer at this planning stage. It went quickly this time and everything fell into place. It helps that I've planned a few novels over the past year. Each time I work through my tables and charts and create outlines it gets easier and easier for me, and I see much more readily how things fit together. Practice makes for improvement, that's for sure. I've clearly grown a lot over the past year.

Well, I'll post again later this week after I have the first chapter done. My target length is a standard 60,000 to 72,000 words, and I really don't want it to go beyond that. I want to finish the first draft by the end of December, a realistic goal. I want to get it done and out the door, and along the way to use the engergy from this to help push me back to the editing of my last novel, which is still in limbo at the moment. I will get it done, though! And I look forward to sending each of them out to publishers/agents as soon as they are ready. I also look forward to sharing details of my other exciting project in the coming weeks.

Happy Holidays,



Adrian Swift said...

Thanks, Debra, for wishing me luck, and nice hearing from you! Congratulations on all the progress you've been making in your own work. You work steadily and consistently, and that really pays off over time.

After more than a decade of trying to finish a novel, I really need the heavy emphasis on planning to guide me through the story. It works, in that this approach helped me to complete my first full-length manuscript over the past year (THE REFLECTING STONE).\

However, with that organization comes a loss of some of the passion that I wrote with previously. It's still there, but it's harder to bring that out when writing when I already know everything that's going to happen. So, I'm working on it, trying to find the happy medium, but for now the emphasis on planning is an essential growth step for me.

I think it's possible to train myself to see stories in a certain way, and once I've gotten that ingrained, I can lighten up on the detailed planning work. Until then, I have my training wheels on and they're helping me quite a lot.

Best wishes,

Adrian Swift said...

Oops! Somehow I accidentally deleted Debra's comment. Sorry, Debra!