I think I’ve found a method of novel writing that works for me. (It only took two IRL novels and one fanfic novel to figure it out, of course). The evolution went something like this:
- Spiral Notebook
- Large-ish Dry Erase board
- Combination of typing it out in not-so-much detail and spiral notebook
- Typing it out in more detail as plot points came to me and all the connections got made in my head.
- Then I got a brilliant idea to try Index Cards.
- Transferring index card notes to the outline-ish thing I created for SFS.
You know, I’d love to have one that covered an entire wall. How fun would that be?
(That would be Snow Falling Softly. It didn’t start out as a novel-length fic. Honestly. No one was more surprised than me when the story just wouldn’t finish.
So I scribbled out plot points to try and get going. And left them alone. But it didn’t quite work— I felt lost as I wrote my first chapter, not sure exactly where things were going and getting annoyed having to refer to index cards and still not knowing.
And hot damn, I think it works.
It’s all coming together and makes sense in my head and I don’t feel all lost anymore. Huzzah! Of course, I got ideas as I went along and kept scribbling furiously (I hope it’s legible at least to me) on index cards and arranging and re-arranging. I blew off my husband when he got up.
Nathan: Good morning. How did you sleep? (Just so you know, he asked me that five times yesterday morning and remembered only the last time he asked).
Me: *dismissive hand wave*
Nathan: *disconcerting silence*
Me: *looks up*
Nathan: So that’s it, you’re just going to blow me off?
Me: No, I’m just really really on a roll with this plot and I don’t want to lose my train of thought. (This is incredibly easy to do. I can get distracted on a fencing strip, of all places.)
Nathan: Oh, okay.
…and he let me be. One of the many reasons why I love him. (End of mushy stuff.)
Anyrate. I’ve gotten together some coda or meta-whatever story bits for Awaken the Sleeping Gods (ATSG from here on out, that takes too long to type). You can find them right here plus a handy-dandy excerpt!
I’m also on the lookout for a beta reader. You know, a person who reads your stuff as you write and tells you you’re on the right track or “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YOU’VE DERAILED AND KILLED INNOCENT PLOT POINTS!”
…in all caps. The all caps are important, because only Important Characters speak IN ALL CAPS. Either Death (Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, if you haven’t read it you need to) SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS or Owen Meany (A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. You might have been assigned to read it in high school and pretended to read it by glancing over the spark notes. Well, go back and read it. It doesn’t suck. And it has a character that SPEAKS IN ALL CAPS and that’s always good fun).