January 23, 2012
The writing on ‘The Scroll’ is going pretty well. I’m into chapter three, with a word count of 8,309 to date – not a Nanowrimo level of output, obviously, but ahead of track for my sample chapters goal.
I thought that I wasn’t doing so well with the other goal of ’30 pages’, but once I remembered that the manuscript format I was wanting to use was 12-point font, that made my page count much more impressive.
At this point, I’m just getting into the scene where my main character, Will Peterman, is telling the bosses that he saved the priceless Persian scroll from burglars who were trying to steal it, but he’s not going to return the scroll until he can be sure that it’ll be safe in the museum. I’m not sure that’s going to go over too well, especially considering there’s not so much evidence for his burglar girls.
Stay tuned for a JanNoWriMo wrap-up next week, and keep writing!
January 12, 2012
I’ve set myself a modest goal for new writing in January – 30 pages or ten thousand words of sample chapters for ‘The Scroll’, (formerly Magic Manuscript, and I’m glad that I got a better title!) I’m also hoping to get a short story or two written before the end of the month, but The Scroll is my official JanNoWriMo project.
So far, it’s going well. My word count is at 4429, and my page count getting on for 11, so I’m more or less where I want to be. And my characters are filling in fairly well, particularly Will, the main character, and Mandy, his girlfriend – also a few people who Will works with at the Royal Ontario Museum. I’m starting to realize that I need to introduce Emelia, the third main character, pretty soon – Emelia is established as a friend of Mandy, but there’s a lot more to her than that.
And Will is starting to get excited about learning what the scroll can teach him! (As am I.) I may need to crack down on the word count a little more after I’ve cleared out a few other projects.
How’s your January word count doing?
January 2, 2012
I need to come up with a better title – even a better temporary placeholder title – for this project than ‘Magic Manuscript.’ Oh well. It should occur to me soon.
I started writing my first-draft opening scene yesterday, with Will getting delivered the scroll in the loading docks of the Royal Ontario Museum in the dead of night – and Mandy dropping in by surprise to wish him luck. I think that it’s going about as well as I can expect a first draft to ever go. 😉
And I was working on character discovery snippets on Friday and Saturday – little 500-word scenes from the past of Will, and the third main character Emelia, to try to get a sense of their voice as characters. I put a lot of Greek references into Emelia’s discovery scene, and then, while working on her character sheet for the snowflake, ended up making her Irish instead of Greek, because it just didn’t seem to add up to have a Greek girl with curly blonde hair and freckles. 😀 Ah well, I don’t really need to rewrite it as it’s just discovery.
Have you started a new writing project, or a new stage in an existing writing project, with the new year?
December 30, 2011
I’ve been doing some character worksheets as part of the ‘Magic Manuscript’ story outline – I started with this worksheet template at Jody Hedlund’s blog, which Rinelle posted a link to over at Stringing Words, and picked the items that seemed to interest me about my characters at this point.
One thing I noticed was that nearly every item seemed to send me off on a google search to do further research. Height, weight, and body type? Over to “BMI calculators.” I quickly learned that to pick character scents, I wanted the Wikipedia article on the Fragrance Wheel. There’s a great list of eye color synonyms over at the Obsidian Bookshelf. And so on and so forth.
I think that this is cool, and it probably says something about my thinking and my creative style that I like to choose from lists instead of coming up with these details entirely by myself. And this kind of research can turn up unexpected facts that send my storyline down new paths. I’d gotten the idea by myself that Mandy was from an Italian-American immigrant family, but orphaned in her teens, so moved to Ontario to be taken in by her closest relatives, an aunt and uncle. Looking at the Wikipedia page on causes of death I was surprised to see that HIV and AIDS accounts for as many deaths as lung cancer and car accidents put together. (If the statistics were for North America and not global that might not be true.) So I decided to have Mandy’s mother die of AIDS when she was 16. Her father died when she was younger, getting into a car crash shortly after moving out of their home. It all smacks a little of trailer trash tragedy, but I think that works for the character so far.
What’s the most unusual Google search you can remember doing for writing research?
UPDATE: Since so many people seemed to find value in the few links I shared, I decided that I’d continue reviewing my history and share some more!
December 20, 2011
I’m starting to feel like I’m in dire need of taking a bit more time to relax.
I dove head-first into new projects as soon as Nanowrimo was over this year – the Holly Lisle revision course, outlining ‘Magic Manuscript’, reading and critiquing stories, driving lessons, and so on. That’s all good stuff. But I may want to dial back my December to-do list just a little bit so that I can chill out.
What about you, have you been relaxing lately?