Get plot points vetted. Generate dramatis personae document.
- Work out rules of languages & magic.
- Write the damn thing (target word count:125k)
- Find a publisher.
From all outward appearances, not much is happening around here.
Apparently the region has been ‘paralyzed’ by the recent snowstorm. It’s gone by many names – “Snowmageddon”, “Snopocalypse”, “Snotorious B.I.G.”, “The Reveblizzation of St. John”, “Snonarok” – but through the wonders of the Internet and due in no small part to the supply of tea in my cupboard, I’ve managed to stay at least somewhat productive.
Now, I’m as lazy and easily distracted as the next writer. I’m fully aware of my tendency to procrastinate. However, like snow that comes up to one’s knees, it’s not as complete and insurmountable an obstacle as it might seem. It’s just a matter of suiting up, taking up the right tool for the job, and heading out into the environment.
Sometimes it isn’t rejection or constraints of time that can blanket the landscape of your literary journey. Sometimes it’s the knowledge of previous attempts. This is the sixth or seventh time I’ve tried to get this particular work – “The Project” as I have enigmatically dubbed it – off the ground. Every time, I get a little bit further, and every time something comes up that makes me stop and rethink the entire endeavor. It could be any number of things: a contrived plot point, an expository conversation, a character who needs a rewrite to be less of a personal mouthpiece or an entire scene or group of characters the story can do without.
This is why, in choosing to focus on the Project, I essentially started over, and broke the story down to the barest essentials of its plot. I’m very thankful to everyone who chimed in on the Story Bible, as I now have a solid foundation that will help keep things going when I feel I might be writing in the wrong direction. Once the foundation was poured and dried, I began setting up the major and minor characters that would help shape the story. Not everybody needed a full dossier, but mention’s been made of most of the primary “speaking parts” that will come and go throughout the novel’s narrative.
Last night I took a look through some of my previous attempts at this, and it appears I already have a fair amount of material written on the world, its history and its inhabitants. The time may come when I need to stop and compile a new document to keep it all in one place, but an odd thing occurred to me last night while speaking to my wife. I gave her a bit of advice I realized I should be following myself:
“The only way to write is to start.”
So I’ve tracked down a decent, no-nonsense word meter to include somewhere on the site, and tonight after the conclusion of another day of working from home, I’m going to plow forward on the narrative of The Project itself.
I need to finish digging out my car, too. Poor Vera’s been under the snow for days.