I also use the comments to make notes and questions. The comments are on the side so they're quicker to glance through, just by running down through the document.
I've heard about putting character biosketches on index cards. I haven't done that yet.
06-17-2020, 02:22 PM
I should start using comments, too. I keep forgetting about those. Some of the other editors on the magazine used them. You're right, easy to see them.
06-20-2020, 05:14 PM
I spent all afternoon with Biker and made a lot of progress. I got some plot points ironed out, so I'm hoping to be less likely to confuse myself about who knows what. Lots of holes to fill. I always seem to have a problem if I start skipping around instead of writing in a more linear way. Need to work on that. But I feel better about this story now.
I generated a page for the punch list, so will need to work on that and get mistakes corrected. Shouldn't take real long.
It's going to be interesting to figure out which digital file is the latest, but I might have put a date on that one since I used it for NaNo. I still can't believe what a difference it made to get past my block with Biker once I made it a NaNo project. I had 5k words and hadn't been able to do anything more for several yrs. Then BOOM, NaNo arrived and I did 50k more words that month. I didn't get all the way to the end, but at least I could see it from there.
I'm procrastinating now about writing the ending. I think I just need to blast through it and get something done I can edit. I think what I did today helped me sort out some things, so maybe I'll feel more like finishing it.
06-21-2020, 12:06 PM
Finally got some work done today. Ended up only about 200 words ahead. I reworked the last scene I wrote because it didn't feel right. Thing is, two of the characters have sort of switched places. One insists on being more involved while the other has decided he's currently on sick leave at the moment, thank you very much!! Then again, the more active one really needed to step up anyway as to why he would leave his lucrative business to go on what is likely to be a very long adventure. The more passive one has just escaped captivity and wants to readjust to life before being possibly dragged along on a very long adventure.
06-21-2020, 01:30 PM
Sounds like lots of interesting conflict. Any progress is good.
I probably won't do much today. My mental energy is taken up with the fence project and what's left of the lily relocation project. And rereading Naked Prey. Mostly because I think my arm is getting a little better so I'm trying to do nothing.
06-21-2020, 05:43 PM
Well, the current passive one was more active in the original draft since he wanted to find his friend. Since there's no need to do that in this draft, he's content to sit back and heal while the others do the initial work. Whether or not he decides to get more involved once things really get going remains to be seen. Then again, he is a translator and doesn't have the training everyone else has (mostly survival and weapon skills in sword or magic) so he needs to catch up anyway. So right now, he's mostly there as a translator and plot hook.
The current active one was active in the original draft but looking for his niece felt a bit tacked on a bit. Now he's mostly just stepping up a bit more and showing he has more to him than originally planned. He's revealing his softer side a bit. Things he probably wouldn't have in front of his own people.
06-21-2020, 07:43 PM
Yeah, gotta foreshadow everything with character development. It sounds like you're getting to know your characters in different ways
Maybe your first draft was a lot of backstory, and that's okay.
06-21-2020, 08:00 PM
The first draft was definitely a trial run, that's for sure. Part of the reason I had trouble with this latest scene was that the MC and merchant/scavenger haven't gotten to know each other well at this point. So the conversation went in a direction that's best saved for later when they do. Fortunately, it was a short scene so far. But it's now taking me in some interesting directions, if I want to keep going as it is.
06-21-2020, 08:27 PM
Being a pantser has its drawbacks, for sure. I've come to believe first drafts for pantsers are really just extended outlines.
06-22-2020, 08:14 AM
:lol: I think you're right. That or extended character development.
Character development is one concern I'm having. Well, more along the lines of wanting to make sure that each character's "voice" is distinct. I'm not sure I'm at that point right now but it's in the back of my mind. I think the character index cards might be a way to go.
06-22-2020, 01:21 PM
I'm not sure index cards are big enough, even the really big ones. Maybe for secondary characters. But there are too many details to keep track of so I've gotten in the habit of making informal notes about primaries. They usually tell me stuff I didn't know about them after a while. I had one of them drop a bomb on me when he confessed to being convicted of manslaughter out of the blue, but it ended up being a big plot point, so it was good he told me.
I think there was an error in the last book I read, but it could be my faulty memory. I could have sworn one character started out eleven yrs old, then a few chapters later was 12, and ended up being 13, in a book that spanned a couple weeks of time. I hate that stuff and it's such an easy mistake to make. Hence my lists.
I do timelines too, because it can be difficult to keep all the moving parts straight. I got that idea watching cop shows. They always have those big boards with pics of victims and suspects, what happened when, witnesses, clues, etc. It always struck me the same concept would work great for writing. Haven't figured out how to make it work in my office yet though. Someday, maybe.
06-22-2020, 01:55 PM
Notes on my characters is one of the reasons I use the comments in Word. I may look into getting Visio for floor plans and time line plotting. It'll be expensive but it'll be useful on multiple stories.
I may make up character sheets using a couple of old RPG handbooks, mostly for skills and such. I can even use the RPG system to deal with combat as needed. I have some RPG handbooks that mix of urban and medieval fantasy skills.
06-22-2020, 05:56 PM
I don't think comments would work for me. I don't want to have to go looking through a whole ms. It's easier to look through my legal pad. I'll probably switch to neatbooks when those are gone though. I think I've decided to like clipboards better than legal pad folders.
I'd hate to have to draw up floor plans from scratch, for writing anyway. I have several magazines that are nothing but floor plans, which we got when we were building out here. That shows total square footage, room dimensions, exterior views, and floor plans for interiors. I don't have the time or talent to do all that on my own. It's fun to page through and find a place that fits my character's personality and then write about it. I think I would dread having to draw my own. Using the zine plans, I see houses I wouldn't think of on my own. It's been a good resource for me. Each one has quite a few floor plans in many styles and sizes, so lots of ideas for not much money. I wonder if those zines are still available.
Hoping I get some writing done in my office this week. There's still stuff to do but there always will be. The main stuff is ready to use though. I know vaguely how Biker will end but I'm sure when I sit down to start writing again, I'll have to spend some time procrastinating and staring at a blank screen. It never fails.
06-22-2020, 06:55 PM
I think I'd enjoy making the floor plans from scratch. Mostly for the ability to tweak them as needed. But having magazines and photos and the like is good for getting the ideas and muses going.
I agree with having notebooks for notes. I do need to figure out how to handle and control information for characters. Maybe their own separate word files for each character or the like, although that has the potential of getting out of hand. I do use comments, mostly for thoughts and, well, comments on characters and situations.
06-22-2020, 08:44 PM
I struggle with how to tame all the misc info and be able to find it again, but do think I need to get it out of digital files and into some kind of binder. I used to think smallish ring binders were a good idea, but I run out of space too fast. Then it was steno pads. Nope, I don't like not being able to rearrange pages. Nothing spiral for me now but Neatbooks. Index cards, maybe, depending. Will probably give it a try. I like ring binders but not the space they take on my desk. Maybe I need to clear some more crap off my oversize desk top. I have an easel for story boards I could use for a ring binder, since I'm not loving the storyboards ATM. There's a thought.
I like making floor plans too, but for me writing is a business. Time is money. Time spent on things that aren't writing won't make me any money. I don't expect to get rich, but I do hope to start making a few thousand a yr again someday. How hard can it be? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha *deep breath* hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!