So, I’m writing a novel. I started it about a month ago and have been working on it off and on over the past month. I’m proud to say, thus far, I have two scenes written.
The genre is YA Sci-fi/Fantasy, subgenre is Steampunk. It’s set on another planet, Planet X as we’ll refer to it from now on. And it’s going to be told from 3 points of view. It’s a fun story so let’s break down some of the techniques and tools I’m using to write it…
First is Scrivener. This is a program that has a ton of features. You can try a free trial here: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php. The trial lasts about 30 days. I’ve had a lot of fun setting up my future manuscript (which helps with my excitement level) and really utilizing the cork-board feature. If you’re working on something that will be long, it’s great to use so that you can have everything together without crashing Word.
Second is this: POV Template. I am no genius so I can’t figure out how to allow YOU to use it, but I mostly wanted to convey the idea of what I was working with. I spent a lot of time with tables in word to create this, there are other ways–for example writing it out long hand. A lot of people use notecards (which I also do). The way I set my timeline up for Act 1. This way I keep track of my scenes, my POVs, and my timeline. It’s really firmly set, I can’t move it around without a little hassle, SO it makes doing it long hand a little easier. Anyway, I think it’s a great way to keep your story straight. I recommend it for every scene.
Last for today is a booklist: Plot Vs. Character by Jeff Gerke, Make a Scene by Jordan Rosenfeld, Word Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that Get Laughs, Go Viral, and Live Forever by Jay Heinrichs, and The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell. I’m a bit of an organic writer and reader so typically I don’t do the exercises but this time, I am. These books are useless if you don’t actually DO what they suggest you do and to incorporating them into your writing. I also suggest reading a chapter and then writing 2-3 pages about the chapter, your thoughts on it, etc. That way you’re internalizing it more actively.
Please let me know about YOUR progress. I want this to be less of a Dear Diary and more of a dialogue and exchange with writers around the world.