Someone Thought I Needed a Mentor? · Someone thought I needed to learn "How to Draft A Book"
How to Draft A Book | Finish Your First Draft
Alexa Donne | 10.II.2020
- Has it occurred to you that - even for novels (I'm mainly essayist) - writing chapters and then writing chapters in between is a valid alternative to drafting?
It's a bit how Cézanne approached painting, and as the author of How to Write and Sell Your/A Novel (I think alternative titles exist) noted, this is also how Zen Buddhist painters in Japan approach painting.
10:07 Writing on blogger is not bad.
With one proviso : if you publish chapters before all of it is ready, which I did, you get lots of people getting worried about how you should or shouldn't write.
Prayers influencing my situation and possibly intrigues of the social type, cabales, doing so too.
10:30 For those using paper - which I do not usually, since it obliges me to copy from notebook to internet, and one morning I had written a chapter I got excluded from the library (a guard had seen me writing, the reason given for exclusion was other) I had counted on and I lost the notebook before completing that chapter. BUT for those doing so:
Take lots of A4 papers. Divide them into A7 (8 per A4). Use elastics.
Need to insert something? No problem.
THEN that leaves the copying from paper to internet.
And obviously, if you start the writing process as I outlined (!) here, pre-writing (11:09) is taken care of by the "outline chapters".
11:50 When you write the chapters as they come to you, discovery writing is taken care of without putting off the actual writing. That's how I went from 4 chapters to about 80 (as said : a chapter is a scene, more the length of chapters in Bible or Morte d'Arthur than those of modern novels).
If ever I do finish the novel, that is how I intend to do it. But NOT getting enough sleep and getting disturbed every time I try to watch a hypno video is not helping. (Neither is being so angry about certain people I cannot pray the rosary, but who would not be angry about what looks more and more like deliberate sleep privations?)
12:40 First and third scenes (chapters) happen to be the first and second chapters I wrote. So, your advice is not bad, but I already got it in advance. Oh, last scene was also one of the very first I wrote.
5) Susan's dreams become a book - last chapter
0) Chronicle of Susan Pevensie (chapter index)
4) Splendour Hyaline - again - third chapter
3) Where Aslan was a Lion Cub. - currently 57th (set in Bethlehem, Susan arriving just in time for Midnight Mass in a jeep)
2) Susan reads her story again - currently 27th
1) Susan has a bad fright. - first chapter
12:55 One can cite either third chapter (a flashback) or first chapter or 27th chapter as inciting incidents. Sure, Susan Pevensie reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe doesn't seem all that dramatic (for 27), but it clinches with her, no doubt Narnia was real - her doubts being part of what the novel is about.
13:10 And yes, the realisation that she actually was a Queen of Narnia is pushing her to the decision point of helping Rose Pole (cousin of Jill, my invention, probably second most important character of the fan fic, for this very reason). Helping her to escape being (de facto if not on the paper) forced to abortion.
15:43 When using "surrounding chapters" as draft, this means I actually can write the actual chapters and take the time to find a word for it. Or look up what mint sweets were available in the time when it is set (parallel to publication of Narnia series "by C. S. Lewis" which in my fan fic means by Digory Kirke - except for Magician's Nephew? - and the final one by Susan Pevensie reedited by in fact CSL - whom she met in chapter 3, when escaping a guy who reminded her of Rabadash - also an important character, my traitor who mends and the future husband of Georgina Kirrin from Famous Five).
17:00 Obviously, my process is ideal for "jumping around" as you just mentioned.
To give an idea of chapter lengths, here is every third of the extant chapters up to a mid point (as it is now):
439 words Recognising Spivvins
511 words Reverend Pewsey's Last Sermon
545 words Off to Sevenoaks
562 words Forgiveness Is Serious Stuff
583 words A View on Apple Trees
645 words Nobby
754 words St John's Feast in Narnia
852 words Not Nice, Once you Get to Know him - the Principal, that is
975 words Some Arrows and Some Bullets Whistle Keenly
987 words Ramandu and Galileo part 1
1077 words Another Kind of Necklace of Beads
1337 words ... Who Would Not Eliminate the Possibility Prematurely
1361 words Susan has a bad fright.
1470 words Nathan Coon and Spivvins
17:36 Placeholders when you publish chapters like above on blogger = not linking to next chapter already extant chapter = the actual next chapter you need to link to eventually still needs to be written, as after 14 of my chapters in the beginning.
18:07 Doing the crazy idea anyway? No problem, just writing the chapters and then do the build up to it afterwards.
18:52 And yes, you may have guessed that my chapter lengths are the exact word counts you consider good for your increments. 400 words (a little below minimal chapter length as per above), 800 words (between the two median lengths), or 1470 words (maximum, but it did have some conflict filled dialogue).
- 4:58 Time to write (essays and debates) - I find every day.
I also consider essay writing my main thing.
Time to write on a novel is not just time to write, it is also time to sleep or to get some compensation for sleep (like hypnotic power naps). Because, sleep (or some compensations) are fairly crucial to creativity as creativity.
When it comes to essays, I can always write about things I know about. Or can find out about.
6:18 Dead lines are not very relevant to essay collections.
14:40 Does it seem cheeky of me, I never have the blank page?
Obviously, this is bc I am not always into the novel, I always have sth else to write. And that else is also my main business : essays.
- 6:59 As a math example, for your ball park 70 000 - 80 000 words.
70 000 / 30 = 2333 / day
70 000 / 91 = 769 / day
70 000 / 182 = 385 / day
70 000 / 365 = 192 / day
80 000 / 30 = 2667 / day
80 000 / 91 = 879 / day
80 000 / 182 = 440 / day
80 000 / 365 = 219 / day
7:10 I'm serious about writing every day. Even with no dead lines.
8100 + blog posts, mainly essays, second category debates (for which usually someone else's copyright is relevant) along with simple comments on youtube's by someone else.
Do I need a deadline to get a book out of that? Not if a publisher has the freedom to pick and choose between the posts.
8:50 My obstacle to getting on with my novel is NOT it being daunting.
My obstacle is, when I have too little sleep, even a scene is daunting (my chapters are usually the length of single scenes). And anyone hoping to help me get time by making sure I wake up at 5 or (as was the case this morning) before that, that's just destroying my sleep.
Now, fortunately, my novel is not my main thing, it is as said a fan fic. Meaning, not that I would be justified in making sub par work on it, simply, it will arguably not pass other copyright holders and therefore will not be what I earn money off. Ergo, my essays are more important.