Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Work in Progress

What is the progress in my work? Yesterday I decided that I needed to stop writing willy-nilly and get a grip on my novel. Using the book Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (a very good source for enlightening discussion on these two very scary topics), I decided I would use what I wrote in a month to create a structure - now I know what the story is because I used the first run at it to tell it to myself. I'm a self-professed no outline writer. I feel quite free when I'm in the process at the beginning but at a certain point my other side emerges - the one that likes order and structure. She has arisen of late and I feel her taking hold as I start to clean my house and organize my papers and take a good long look at my finances. She is sister to my wild-eyed muse and while she loves her enthusiastic sister to distraction, she brings her firm hand of reason to the chaos. My Muse's name is Sirocco and her sister's name is Tara for she is earthy while the muse is airy.
So I have started outlining - I've done up character studies. I am grounded for awhile and that is good for my W.I.P. is called Earth Bound.

9 comments:

Stacy Post said...

Hi Jan! Your muse has an interesting name. The book you mentioned is one I haven't read. I'll have to check that one out! I'm more of a pantser than a plotter, but with each piece of work, my tendency is to organize too. Best of luck!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Plot and Structure is indeed a good, helpful book. I have been, and probably will continue to be a no outliner. BUT, I’ve come to see the advantages it can offer. For book three, I’m going to try a very high level form of outline using the Bell’s guidelines. I’ll try to add to the outline as I go. I’ve several different pieces of software to try in this endeavor. Maybe they’ll help.

Best Regards, Galen.

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I'd go mad if I didn't outline. I need to know where I'm going so each day I know I'm a little closer to the end. Some of my outline is actually written out, some is in my head, but I know the sequence of events.

Elspeth

Jan Morrison said...

hello my dear three friends! Isn't it curious how alike and different we are?! Another book that I love is Elizabeth George's book on writing. She is an amazing plotter and outliner and writes nearly a book about every element of her books! She also keeps a book journal which Bell discusses too. I am merely flirting with the outlining thing. I already have 55 thousand words done so...
Back to writing!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hmm, my organized muse tends to dominate me most of the time...

Watery Tart said...

My muses are Xavier and Sven... Xavier gets me all riled up and Sven calms me back down again. Neither is worth a darn for getting any work done though.

I am on 'book 3' so had to have a vague plan in order to finish book 2, but ALSO spent a while last night fleshing out 'the plan'--the thing is, it seems to want to take on soap opera twists, which could either be truly fabulous or really campy, so I am walking a tightrope..

That said--to chapter 15 I have one liners for what the chapter is for--that is the extent of my outline, but it IS a sort of outline. If I don't have one, characters wander off getting into the kind of mischief which only their author should engage.

Jan Morrison said...

That's the thing L. Diane - the organized one isn't a muse! She's the sister of the muse and could be helpful LATER but probably not so much up front - at least for me she's trouble if she gets in too soon. However, Elspeth would undoubtedly disagree!
Tartlett dear! Trust you to have guy muses! Why didn't I think of that? But yah, that's what happens to my characters - if they don't wander off they change personalities or personal facts and features. All boggling to me and I'm sure would be to readers if I..ehem..had any. (not my dear first readers of course!)

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I outline, but play fast and furious with my intentions.

I love what you've described so far. Those names are marvelous.

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Elizabeth. I like naming ephemera don't you?