Monday, March 30, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 5: Scenes

What should scenes do?
What do they include?

I tend to say that since we have been taking a novel apart and annotating what is going on in each scene, we can easily look at the scenes we have summarized on our note cards and know. We are already so far ahead of anyone who has not taken a novel apart in this way.
Go from a skeletal scene to something more fleshy. Image: Kathy on Flickr
When looking at scenes in the rough draft, I insist that:

Monday, March 23, 2015

Writing Conference in Tucson

Arizona writers: There is a writing conference, Pima Writers' Workshop, coming up in Tucson this May. It doesn't get a lot of publicity, but it usually has a slew of agents and all attendees get a manuscript consultation.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 4: Exploring Structure

Oh god! It can't possibly be done in thirteen weeks! Can it?

I, personally, am overwhelmed and behind. I'm beginning to think that I should, at the very least, be one week ahead of you to say what has worked for me. But in truth, what works for me may seem ridiculous to you. And what works for you may be drudgery to me.
Get ready to dissect a novel. Image: Arallyn!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

13 Week Novel—Week 3 Activities: Plots & Subplots

I've got several things on my mind this week. I know I'm late, and it's not from all the issues swimming around in my little human brain. The Tucson Festival of Books wore me out, and I think it added to the ideas lazily backstroking into my consciousness from my subconscious mind. 

I know you've been keeping up on working through the next 2500 words, though. 

And I've been thinking.

First, about the long novel process. (How unlikely.) I was at the gigantic Tucson Festival of Books. I only got to one panel. I couldn't get into two others because they were so crowded. Ridiculous. 
The size of this book festival is difficult to fathom. Image: Lars Hammar
Anyway, in the panel I actually attended, it was encouraging to hear one author say he wrote what he thought was a novel in six weeks, then he spent three years actually rewriting and shaping it into a novel. The other novelist on the panel was floored. “It took me six years to write my last novel!” he said. (Or something like that.) I like being reminded that it takes a while to struggle through this.

Friday, March 13, 2015

What I Learned During Week 2: First Chapters & Character-Driven Story

Week 2 has been a little crazy for me. Teaching, preparing for the Tucson Festival of Books, feeling ill, editing, writing the book, and trying to keep up with this blog. I have mixed feelings about week 2.
How did you feel about week 2? I have mixed emotions on the productivity... Image: Soren Rajczyk

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Write Your Novel Now! Week 2 Activities: First Chapters & Character-Driven Story

What do we expect from the first few chapters?
A great first line? Establishing the tone of the book and a character that readers care about? Some sort of conflict or trouble?
Do we get hooked into stories the same way each time? Image: Local Studies NSW
Some people think that the central conflict must be apparent of the first page. Others say that may be more about your style, your story, and your genre. Some think hinting at that conflict may be enough in the beginning and simply creating a question in the readers' minds can intrigue them into reading on.

What do you need in the first chapters of a book?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

6 Reasons Why "Write Your Novel Now" is a Better Process.

With Write Your Novel Now! you write 2500 words per week, read, and do some other activities. Why is this a good approach?
There's more to it than writing... Image: Roco Julie on Flickr
  1. You don't alienate your friends and family because you still have a life--living life is necessary to being a writer.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Write Your Novel Now! Week 1 Activities: Getting Started

Alright. It's Sunday and we're starting the 13 week novel. Three months and we'll all have a draft. Let's get moving...
Kill it in 13 weeks. Image: Vaguely Artistic on Flickr.