I’m finally making some visible headway on Translocator 3. Spent the first half of the month planning/outlining the book using a combination of the 9 point outline from Larry Brooks and 4 act plot structure (see Lester Dent’s Master Fiction Plot), journaling madly, and then blowing it all out into a chapter by chapter synopsis.
Some people think I’m crazy for doing that kind of legwork up front—they’re either afraid of the work or it bores them, or they call themselves pantsers and just don’t believe in planning. For me it’s thrilling, architecting the whole diabolical scheme and making sure all the pieces fit. The plot of a good science fiction thriller like these books is complex. Multiple points of view! Ancient mysteries! Secret alliances! Betrayals… It’s the only way I can keep it straight.
There’s another advantage, too. Once I figure out how the book goes at a high level, I can let go of the plot and focus on the scenes and the characters, and on the rhythm of the sentences. I think it makes the book better, and it certainly makes the writing easier. And planning well also cuts down on the amount of rewriting I have to do. Ye gods, I hate rewriting.
And so, with my blueprint in hand, last week I finally started typing. I got off to a slow start, and then got sick over the weekend, but I kept dripping out words the whole time.
Right now I’m at 2500 words with a deadline of December 15th and a target of 80,000 words.
No idea if the 80k target is going to turn out to be accurate, or if I can hit the deadline. I guess we’ll see 😀 The challenge is half the fun of it.
My story board reminds me to strike while the iron is hot. It helps me keep published stories from this year, works in progress, and ideas at eye level. If I have a new one, I throw it up. The squares are sticky notes so they’re easy to fix and replace. Old ideas dry up and fall off. Placeholder titles grow stale and get replaced.
The five on the right are new this year. Let’s see how many make it all the way over before 2017 cools off.
Straight fell off the blog wagon these last few months. Blogging just isn’t a priority right now. If you want to get updates from me in real time, I’d suggest the newsletter, which I am striving to make more entertaining and the primary source for book news.
Writing and releasing new fiction IS a priority, however. I’ve got a few new episodes of Tales of the Republic out over the last month, and you can read samples of them or catch up on the series right here:
Long time readers will be thrilled to hear I’m also 15,000 words into Translocator 2! Drafting is coming along nicely. Smooth and fast enough that I’m happy with what I’ve done so far and the pace I’m moving at.
The drafting process isn’t very visual, but here are some photos of the outlining process, when I was using index cards to break out the plot into chapters.