Yo, word up! Whatever that means…

June already… soon the year will be half way over… and what have you got to show for it?

I finished reading a short science fiction novel called Mass Effect: Revelation … yeah, it’s based on a video game, so I guess I’m a dork. But it was a very easy read, and helps kinda flesh out some of the back story to the game (which I thought was great), so I enjoyed it, whether you like it or not, and maybe I’ll read more, haha!

I’m continuing to plan out another fantasy novel. I’m going to try to resist starting to write until my plans are as detailed as possible. So far, all my attempts at novel writing have failed. With The Game of Gynwig, I diverged too far from my outlines and ended up not knowing where to go next. With The Book of Harbringer, my outlines were too loose and vague, and I didn’t put enough thought into how scenes connected with each other. I could (and would like to someday) revisit the stories and try to get them right, but in the meantime, some new ideas are floating around in my mind. But I’m going to try to spend most of my time planning and planning and planning this time around, so that I won’t be having to figure out any plot whatsoever when it comes time to actually write. It might take years, decades, I might even give up, as I often do… anyway, right now I’m trying to get a sense of the overall idea: how it begins, how it ends, and what all the characters’ main motivations are… in fact, here’s my plan:

1) Clear beginning and clear ending, with character motivations and plans figured out (working on now)
2) List of important scenes (this is the step I usually stop at and just start writing, but not this time, I hope)
3) Details of how each scene begins and ends, adding connecting scenes when necessary
4) Purpose of each scene – make sure each scene is important and accomplishes something plot-wise and theme wise (not just one or the other (but plot-wise is more important))
5) Details of all scenes – details on what exactly happens between each scene’s beginning and end, including dialog (like writing each scene into a little screenplay)

Then flesh it all out with description and whatever, and I’ll be done!

Really, I hate to blog about my own future plans, because I hardly ever follow them, but I still think it’s good to have a goal in mind when working on something on the scope of a novel (a novel I’m personally satisfied with, that is; I could write a crappy novel any old day of the week).

My new glasses are waiting for me at Walmart, so I get to go pick them up tomorrow, woohoo! The world will be less blurry!

26 more days until Animation Mentor classes begin! Getting nervous!


Scott · June 2, 2010 at 2:00 AM

What is it about people in Fredericksburg and writing fan fictions based on video games? I know like 10 people who have done that… none of them published or coherent (especially my brother’s Resident Evil one… he is a horrible writer and has no imagination whatsoever).

Also, you are starting a new novel and abandoning our joint project? I know we barely got started on it, but really, I thought you had expressed at least some interest in it…lol.

Finally, inb4 plans are broken…. you don’t have the discipline required to actually do that planning for a project. What you should really do is set deadlines to have things done (like 2 days to do something). That’s the way you work best… under pressure with a time constraint, then ideas just flow (also, you should try your hand at a comedy type story… you might be more successful because you’re witty)

Scott · June 2, 2010 at 2:00 AM

PS: Yes, you are a dork for writing a Mass Effect novel… ~SP

LanthonyS · June 2, 2010 at 10:44 AM

I find that in writing, the more you plan the less of the core idea you end up preserving. When you have a core idea that you want to write about (the magic/weather-controlling, or perhaps the being isolated on an island, in N.O.W.A.?), you must think of a situation in which that could plausibly happen. Then, as C.S. Lewis says, “Once you have got your reader to that exciting place, story will creep in because there is a need to make something or other happen.”

Once you’ve written the first draft, you’ll not only have a good “outline/plan” but it will be much more detailed (even than your many steps!), much more accurate to the final product, and probably closer to what you originally intended. Besides which, you’ll have a corpus of good phrases/characters/ideas that have grown up around your core idea to build the new one out of.

Long story short: no amount of planning will make a perfect first draft, but any first draft will greatly lend to a perfect final draft.

S P Hannifin · June 2, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Oh, no, I’m my fantasy novel has nothing to do with Mass Effect… I *read* an official Mass Effect novel, which was by one of the lead writers for the game, so it wasn’t fan fiction at all… I have no interest in writing fan fiction myself… although, come to think of it, the Mass Effect universe does hold plenty of story possibilities… but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable writing in that universe unless I did a lot more research and spoke to the creators of the game and got a contract, etc…

And, no, I definitely don’t want to abandon our joint project, which I still think would be very interesting… I think that also still requires a lot of planning…

S P Hannifin · June 2, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I’m not trying to make a perfect first draft, I’m just trying to get to the point where I can finish a first draft… in my previous attempts, the plot tends to meander away from my initial core idea because I have to make up plot points to get from one scene to another (or I change my mind about a plot point) because I didn’t plan carefully enough… could also have to do with my self discipline and changing interests, but I think all this planning looks like fun and will be worth a try…

S P Hannifin · June 2, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Oh, and if I don’t have the self discipline to actually carry out these plans, I definitely don’t have the discipline to follow a deadline… lol…

S P Hannifin · June 2, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Oh, this isn’t to say I won’t write some dialog or an interesting description before hand if it comes to me… I just won’t dedicate myself to the task prematurely…

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