I’ve reached my current word count goal of 168,000 words for my historical, Kindred. I’m going to let it rest there for now. More than likely I will come back to it for another pass at bringing down that word count (120k would be ideal). A friend of mine who is a writer as well as an editor is sending me some macro edit notes. I will let them stew around on the back burner for a while…
Because I really want to start plotting the new novel, The Quiet In The Land* (working title; I sometimes call it Willa of Ramshackle). I’ve begun this by reading through Jeff Gerke’s ebook/worksheet, How To Find Your Story. It’s a workbook for writers who have no problem coming up with complex characters and situations, but find plotting out a story much more of a challenge.
“This system is designed to help novelists take their great ideas for characters and settings and place them in a fabulously entertaining story framework.”
Took it to the laundromat today and ended up scribbling a lot of good character ideas while the clothes washed and dried. No new plot ideas yet! But that will come, if the promise of this book holds true. Having completed three novels now, I do know how to plot one, but I no longer wish to spend upwards of five years on a book. This is something new for me, plotting out a book carefully and thoroughly before one scene is written (I was going to say “one word” but that’s no longer true. I’ve written a short snippet already–oops!). It’s an experiment. There is no One Right Way to write. The process is as varied and unique as is each writer. But it doesn’t hurt to try new methods, and see if something fits.
In fact, it was doing that very thing that enabled me to finish a book again (Kindred), after five years of chemo fog. I wrote Kindred in nonlinear chunks, leaving huge gaps in the plot and narrative, because to do otherwise would have meant not writing at all. And so it took as long as it took, as my brain finished healing and retrained itself along the way (gnarly stuff, that chemo). Now, with a brain that feels much more toned than it did ten years ago, I’m ready to challenge it with something as structural as this plotting worksheet in Gerke’s book. If it speeds up the process for me, I’ll be thrilled. If it doesn’t, at least I tried.
Interested in the book? Check out this Novel Matters blog post by Jeff Gerke, which includes a link to purchase the book.
Still thinking about what I might rename this blog. Guess I’ll leave it be as long as Kindred has some hope of being published, and I’m still blogging about it.
*For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. Psalm 35:20
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