Author’s Log: The Snowball Effect (& #ROW80)

dr h-lawful evilI’m a bad, bad Writer Monkey. Also, I just may be an Evil Sooper Genius. The tailspin I’m about to send three characters–and really an entire town into–is going to be EPIC. Bwa-ha-ha-haaaaaaa!

This has been a week spent largely in The Lab. This basically means two white boards, notebooks, notecards, outlines, and planning self-imposed deadlines. I’ve found that my Production Schedule is best served by careful planning beforehand. Goals + Planning = Success! I call this my system of Preventative Maintenance. Because the less Big Revisions I have to do later means more time spent writing and not burning out. This also gives me a very clear idea of not only what I need to accomplish, but how to accomplish it.

This means lists. Lots and lots of lists.

I have approximately the same amount of words to write for two projects this month. The best way to accomplish this is scene lists. I need to know not just the purpose for each scene, but its multipurpose. Then I can write the scene, knock it out of the park, and move on to the next. In order to get the multi-purpose I have to brainstorm from the main purpose, or event, from the scene. The multi-purpose tracks cause-and-effect. This leads to the Snowball Effect of Evil.

Say the purpose (cause) of the scene I’m writing is to reveal the Big Bad. Who is most effected in my cast of characters, and how are they effected? I put the cause in a big bubble in the middle of my whiteboard in black and use colors to track my characters’ reactions. For instance, Big Bad has had a detrimental effect on several characters in the past, including my hero. Based on character, what are they thinking/feeling, and how does this come across in their reactions? What can each offer that constitutes and solution and raising of stakes?

This is really just a form of mindmapping. But if I can see the connections, actions, and reactions, I have myself what constitutes an outline without really outlining. An outline or synopsis looks so…concrete. And it’s difficult to get the creative mind to conform to the rigid structure of blocks of text in the pre-writing stage (at least MY creative mind, at any rate).

I have A Plan. Now I just need to see it through.

ROW80LogocopyROW80 Goals & Production Schedule:

BRIGHID’S MARK (In Production): No action yet. I know it’s creeping up, however, so I need to get as much done as possible until then. Publishing is a slow business y’all–even in the electronic market!

MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER (Drafting): Only four chapters left until Act III-YAY! That means I only have four chapters until Plot Point 2, and a failed rebellion to orchestrate amidst a hotbed of civil unrest. GOAL: I want Act II finished by the end of October, so I can draft ACT III during NANO. This will leave me revisions for December. Also, I’m going to start running test chapters through the workshop process at the Online Writing Workshop for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. BONUS GOAL: At least two chapter critiques per week on the Online Writing Workshop.

SOOPER SEKRIT PROJECKT #1 (R&D): I’m shooting for 10K words on this Bad Boy, which (I’m hoping) will leave me time to revise, polish, create cover art, and release into the wild. I’ve checked everything out with Publisher Awesome’s legal team, so I’m covered there. GOAL: 10K words this month, to be revised and released into the wild on Oct 31.

KEEPERS #3 (In BETA): Still in the Stunt Monkey’s court, no word yet. I’m always a little nervous when I get something back from the Stunt Monkey, but I know I can always count on her to be honest. We have the same tastes in, well, pretty much everything, so I know she Gets It, if you know what I mean. 🙂

I’m looking forward to clearing out my Production Schedule for the rest of the year, to having Big Dang Projeckt finished at last and having a couple more books out in the wild, not to mention starting a new self-pub venture for the benefit of my readers. How about you guys–how’d your week go? Got any Big Dang Plans for the rest of the year?


6 thoughts on “Author’s Log: The Snowball Effect (& #ROW80)

  1. nancyrae4 says:

    Planning carefully but leaving room for creativity is a wonderful thing. It looks like you have it under control – as much as any writer can:) This week I’m struggling into chapter two of my second novel. For me, the second novel is much more difficult that the first. Big Dang Plan for the rest of the year? Completing first draft.

  2. Melissa says:

    I like your Plan. Your way of mindmapping sounds so helpful! I might have to give that a shot when I’m outlining future chapters, methinks. What an informative goal post you have here 🙂 Best of luck with your goals, they sound so daring and exciting. My Big Dang Plan is just trying to finish a draft that has been sitting in my noggin for ages so I can get to that golden stage of revision for completion. If I need inspiration to keep motivated, I’ll just pop on over to your blog and see how your Plan is going.

    1. catemorgan says:

      I know what you mean–Big Dang Projeckt has been in my noggin for ages, and I’m DYING to get it finished so I hone it to a wicked gleam. Explaining to it that I have other books I need to write doesn’t seem to be flying…Good Luck on your goals this week!

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