Sunday, October 30, 2011

So it starts tomorrow

And like normal I am nowhere near prepared. Its been said that people will take ninety percent of the time doing the first ten percent of the task. That leaves the bulk of the work to be done in the shortest amount of time.

So it was with my planning. I could finish off the rest of the work, but in the true spirit of NaNoWriMo I will wing it.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It all has to happen somewhere

Yup, today I'm looking at setting. You may find it strange to look at setting this early, right after structure. But let me explain my reasons.

Setting is key to so many elements of a good story. For a start setting decides what can and can't happen. A plot about escaping a shipwreak only makes sense on a large body of water. An evil wizard taking over the world only works if magic exists. And try writing a romance without a predefined concept of gender.

Setting is also key to characters. Characters are born, grow up, live, love and die, all within the setting. A story in modern New York will have very different characters from one set in the ancient Mesapatonion jungle. You guessed it, time is just as important as place.

Some settings require more work then others. A completely fictional setting requires lots of work to make and keep it consistient. For example you can't have a literate population without both a paper and printing press equivilent. Okay, so thats one of my pet peeves that nobody else seems to notice, but you get the point. A familiar place will provide you with ready made details, but it will also constrain you. Everyone knows there is no alley way between first and fifth street.

My story will happen in a fictional modern earth city, it may look suspiciously similar to New Zealand. I want all the benefits of writing on earth, but none of the constraints of a real location. I'm somewhat nervous about this, my comfort zone is completely fictional locations. Current period. I might throw a chemical factory in the mix too.

Incidentally I will be trying out writing using the new beta of Scrivener for Windows. Set the structure up this morning.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


So here it is, the first stage of my planning process

Begining - 10,000 words - The good guys are hanging out
Middle - 30,000 words - The bad guys show up and make life diffficult for the good guys. The good guys fight back, but get it handed to them on a platter.
End - 10,000 words - Just when all hope is lost the good guys get their act together and manage to save the day. They live happily ever after.

This may seem like a trivial exercise. But it defines what the project is, and what it is not. For example, it is not a romance, by this stage a romance would already look completely different. Nor is not an epic.

Next I'll think about the where.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo coming up again

Its amazing how fast the year rolls around. Seems like it wasn't that long ago that I was writing The Adventures of Zeek, learning wonderful things about writing without an outline. But its just a few weeks until everything starts up again.

After last years effort I'm not expecting to come in anywhere near target. There is this thing called life that just keeps getting in the way. While I admire those that put writing as their top priority, its not something I'm willing to do. Got a wife and two kids who I love spending time with. Got a job I enjoy that pays me too much to slack off. I'm sure someone will visit, get sick, and I'll discover a new book or video game that can't wait.

So that's all my excuses out of the way in advance. Now I can stop worrying about them and get on with the job at hand.

Like normal I'm going to approach NaNoWriMo differently. Last year was about not having a plan. This year will be about ignoring physics. Completely. Pure fantasy with no regards to cost or consequences. Let their be earthquakes and volcanoes (without destroying the local ecosystem). Let there be walking through walls. Let there be epic battles between good and evil, just because one side is good and the other is evil.

I'm thinking something along the lines of X-Men. If you're lucky, and if my daughter keeps deciding that Daddy should be getting out of bed at five in the morning, I'll share the rest of my planning process here.

Please comment and share your thoughts. I'll include as many as possible in the project.

BM out