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And here…we…go!

July 1, 2013

Today, I started writing my new novel.

I’ve been planning this story over several months using the snowflake method. This is a departure from my earlier attempts at novels, which were all planned quite loosely and subsequently crashed and burned.  Honestly, I’m feeling quite confident that this story will be the one, so to speak.  I can only hope that this confidence will turn out to be justified.

For quite some time, I’ve had a full plot summary sitting from my compute which ran from beginning to end; however, I recently decided that I wasn’t happy with it and subsequently started to write a new one.  I honestly think that this new one is a huge improvement over the old, except for the small issue that I now have no idea how to end it. Since further snowflakeing doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere, I’ve now decided to just see what happens when I try writing the thing.  If that doesn’t work, then…well, I’ll think about that if and when the situation calls for it, I think 😉

So what am I writing, you may ask? I’ll keep things vague for now, but the novel is a science fiction piece with a working title of “The Aurora Experiment”.  Parasitic creatures are involved, which probably isn’t much of a surprise given this blog’s title.

At the end of today’s writing session, I reached 795 words – slightly lower than I was hoping for, but hardly bad.  I’m hoping to average a thousand a day before long, because that way I should have the first draft done before I start my PhD.  I’m probably going to keep a running tally from now on, if only because I think this’ll motivate me to keep at it.

It’s going to be a long road, but I think it’ll be a fun road all the same.  Onwards, I say!

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From → Blogging, Writing

15 Comments
  1. Congratulations on the start of the novel. Just keep going, as you follow your outline (or not) things will also begin to form organically and the ending will come to you. 795 is pretty good for the first day. An Excel spreadsheet tracking the word count works for some people. I like to set a specific amount of chapters a week. For me it is important to get the words down in a first draft and plump it up afterwards. I hope you plan on keeping us updated on your progress.

    • I decided to try using a spreadsheet yesterday morning, incidentally. I vaguely remember reading about downloadable “magic calendar” spreadsheets on someone else’s blog, but in the end I couldn’t find the download location and so decided to go with a basic wordcount chart. I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks in a month or so’s time.

      And yeah, I plan to keep everyone in the loop concerning my progress :). Thanks for commenting!

  2. I always tell myself that even if I didn’t hit my word count for the day, I still wrote SOMETHING. Better than finding an excuse to not write at all.

    Good luck with your new adventure!

    • Agreed; any amount of writing in a day is good. I’ve found in the past that a single day without writing can easily snowball into long drought periods – something I’d really rather avoid here.

      Thanks for stopping over!

  3. See what happens when you get there. You may have worked it all out by then 🙂 Very exciting.

    • Here’s hoping :). I’m certainly leaning towards one idea for the conclusion over the other right now, but for all I know I’ll have come up with several alternatives by the time I actually get there. Fun, no?

  4. Go, Nicholas!

  5. Thanks! Go Bobbie, too 🙂

  6. Good luck! I’d never heard of the ‘snowflake method’ seems like a good idea for filling out a story. Although I prefer to let my characters develop as I write (and then go back make the end consistent with the beginning), just seems to allow the story to flow more naturally to me.

    Looking forward to seeing your progress!

    • Thanks!

      The snowflake really has been amazing for me. I daresay I learnt more about plot and character development in my few months of using it than I did for several years previously. I’ll probably use a slightly less rigid planning structure next time around, but I don’t regret doing the snowflake at all.

      For all I know, the story could yet end up developing down a different avenue altogether from what I’ve got mapped out. I guess I’ll just have to see, no? 😉

  7. I definitely know what you mean about a loosely organized book crashing and burning, I had the same thing happen to my first attempt. I had a loose idea in my head of what I wanted and I just started writing. After hitting fourty thousand words I went back and read over some of what I had, and it was an awful, jumpy, and confusing mess.

    Going to have to read into the snowflake method a bit, its always good to learn about new ways of developing and creating stories. Thus far I’ve found that the best method for me is to get a kinda sorta loose story progression together, then start from there. I really like to learn who my characters are as I write them. More often than not I’ll write a few lines out, then think to myself “thats not how this character would behave” and will have to go back and change it.

    Best of luck with the parasite novel! I’m definitely a fan of the genre subset.

    • Thanks for the good wishes :). I didn’t even read over my first ever attempt; I finished the first draft, added a few extra scenes mid-way through, then closed the document for one last time and then vowed never to open it again. Three years later, I still haven’t done so.

      Regarding the snowflake method, a good place to start would be http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/. I’m still debating with myself as to whether I’ll use the method wholesale next time around, but I’ll certainly be using aspects of it.

      Happy writing 🙂

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