I’m working on the outline of my new novel, TRAVELER. Very carefully, I’m allowing a few trusted friends to look at what I’m doing to give feedback. Here are some of the things I am examining:
- Overall plot. Is it exciting, engaging, different?
- Characters. Are there at least three characters you’ve never seen before, or at least never seen in this combination?
- Thematics. Can you “feel” the core thematic threads working through the different sequences? Do they trigger an emotional reaction? Are they reflected in the events rather than the dialogue or authorial voice?
If someone reads a short (10-20 page) outline of the novel and these (and selected other) tests are passed, I will begin to write. I’ll use WRITER DUET to create a script first, as a script has character, dialogue, and plot but can be written far more rapidly than a novel. If it still works, then I’ll expand it out to a novel by filling in description. In the process I’ll learn new things. New scenes will present themselves. The characters will have new notions.
Also…I’ve been asked to write three short stories for different anthologies. One is set in the Dream Park universe, to be written with Larry. But the other two have philosophical or political bents. I will find aspects of the world of TRAVELER, and write short stories around them. That will allow me to experiment with tone, refine my thinking on the extrapolative aspects, and create back-story that will make the novel even better.
So…out of this process I’ll get:
- Practice in refining the PROCESS of writing
- At least two short stories
- A script to market
- A fine strong novel
I’d call that a pretty decent return on investment, wouldn’t you?
Write with passion!
(oh…and it all starts with a commitment to write at least one sentence a day. Every day. No matter what. My average is probably 100X that…but what the heck!)