A Garden Beginning

Friday, May 18, 2007

Where I am

It has been a while, but I'm back. And I'm back in Humboldt County (no longer in Flagstaff). I've been here since mid March. I'm staying at my parents' house working on their yard, writing my book, doing some drawing (like this pastel sketch of lupine leaves), and thinking about where to go and what to do next.

Yes, I've managed to keep writing. I have not been focused enough to write for three hours everyday, but that's got to change. My time is running out! Lindy Mars and I must have half our books written by July! I've been losing focus here and there, so once again, I'm turning to my blog to help me track of my progress.

Here's where I'm at:

1. I have five chapters fairly drafted. And much more of the story is in my head or in bits in my notebook.

2. I've realized that I need to start the story much earlier; too much of my book was back story. My main character has changed too, though the book will change points of view a few times.

3. My main characters have names, but finding names continues to be challenge. It is difficult because the cultures in my book are made up. I don't want common name like"Bob" but I don't want some typical fantasy name like "Urgaloth" either. I'm going to use names built from simple nouns (especially natural objects), nice sounding unusual scandinavian names, or names I really make up by rearranging letters, etc.

4. So much more research needs to be done. A big part of that is getting out of the house, out of the yard, and jotting things down in my notebook. If I need to capture the feel of say, a company of shipbuilders, why not take notes at the shop while your chainsaw is being repaired? There are somethings that carry over.

5. Words. I need a gigantic set of words and word combinations to hit the core of each setting. I need to continue to practice portraying places, and people for that matter, in words--that's what writers do. Timed writing exercises would help.

6. I need to let go of my plot for a while and be open to wandering.

So much to do. I need a battle plan:

Today I will spend a half hour to an hour brainstorming names, an hour reading and taking notes about living in a forest, half hour writing about the forest, half hour describing a house, and a half hour developing a character. That's at least three hours with my book.


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