Sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. Just been getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, and sadly the blog is what fell to the last of the priority list. But now I’m back at it!
Even though I haven’t shared anything, the last month or so has actually been very productive for my novel (working title Aztec). I’ve finally finished all the worldbuilding, character creation, and outlining that I can handle! (haha!) I’m finally on to the rough draft. This week I was able to rough draft chapter 1 (currently called “A New Home”) and about half of chapter 2 (currently titled “The River”).
Now that I’m in the rough draft stage I honestly feel like a lot of the hard work is behind me, rather than looming ahead like you might think. I really spent a lot of time outlining every single scene in the entire novel through a method called ‘notecarding’ (I believe I borrowed the method from Isaac Asimov, but I can’t remember to be honest). So I now know exactly what happens, when it happens, what characters are involved, how that scene fits in with previous and future scenes, etc. I’ve been at that for a long time now, several months actually. I feel like I’ve been laying the foundation for a house (or Aztec pyramid?) and now I’m finally starting to add on a bit of the framing. It’s been tough foundational work, but necessary. But I can say that it’s been fun to have a lot of the hard work out of the way and just write.
Some authors prefer to write without any outline whatsoever, like James Bond creator Ian Fleming was alleged to do, but I’ve found that more difficult. No outline leads me to being unfocused, I find that I’m spending most of my time trying to figure out WHAT the story is, rather than just letting the words flow, thus I’m constantly changing the story and putting in a lot of work that, really, could be avoided.
But now, since I’ve outlined the whole thing in a pretty detailed manner, I’ve worked through most of the structural or big picture problems, and I can focus solely on the words that put the story together.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the story is locked in place. I’ve already changed a few things that I had previously outlined, but since I know, more or less, where the story is headed I can spend less time on figuring that out, and more time just getting words on the page.
Once I’m a little more out of the ‘rough draft’ stage I’ll share a bit of what I’ve got! Have a great week!
Photo Credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash