Thursday, July 05, 2007

Day Four

Ah, Day Four. Two hours zoomed by, in one block, filled with words. 3300 of them. Lovely.
Plotting continues, with diagrams, notes and reminders to myself. I like this new method I've developed, of having just one large notebook to put everything into. No more scrabbling for bits of paper - want to know when Great-Grandfather was born? Flick back a few pages to the family tree I drew. Finished writing these scenes I'd plotted? Turn the page and start again, or carry on the thread.
Beats me why I never thought of this before, although with the historical pirate novel, I have ended up with half of a filing cabinet drawer full of research, maps, timelines, photocopies, pictures and diagrams. The various drafts occupy another half of a drawer.
I'm not even thinking about Day Five yet.
Last night I finished "Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time" by Lisa Yee. She has managed to show both the outer always-in-trouble boy and the inner vulnerable boy so well. This is a book to re-examine for that very reason. She says in the back of the book that she had to go and eavesdrop on some boys of the right age to find out what they talk about and how they act together, as initially her boys were too "girly" (meaning they talked about their feelings etc). Her descriptions of how boys eat food are so gross but so real.
I was interested to see that this book is a re-telling of the Millicent Min novel, but from Stanford's point of view. And that she has written a third book from Emily's point of view, still about the same summer experiences. I hope to get hold of a copy of "Millicent Min, Girl Genius" and see how she's done it, as I'm the kind of reader who hates to know the ending. I also hate to know the endings of movies, and football games. It takes all the anticipation and fun out of it for me, yet I know someone who cannot read past Chapter 1 until she's gone and read the ending first. I think this is also why I resisted plotting and planning for so long. I had the idea that if I knew everything that was going to happen in the book, it wouldn't be so much fun to write. Now I realise that I always know what my ending is going to be anyway - the planning just helps me to weave it all together better, and not have great sagging holes in the middle.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

I suppose if you'd done this for your pirate novel, because of all the research you had to do, you would've spent a lot of time consolidating it all into the one place. Sometimes different methods work better for different books. When I was writing my Arthurian novel (which I later abandoned), I wasn't writing from start to finish, but scenes as they came to me. But this isn't the way I normally work.