I’ve been wanting to write a novel for a long time (see my Solethania is 20 years old post), but always had excuses and/or was too worn out mentally from work to make writing the strong habit it needs to be to accomplish that kind of task.
I finally had enough of my excuses (in the same way I had enough of my weight and dropped 30lbs in a couple months when I went keto) and sat down to figure out my plan of attack on this thing.
First, I knew I’d have to do something to bypass the mental fatigue from work. So I adjusted my sleep schedule. I now wake 5am and try to be in bed by 9-9:30, M-F. This gets me a solid hour and forty-five minutes of pure writing time with no distractions every weekday.
Second, I have to have a method, a step by step, orderly way of doing things. I need a framework, because that’s just how my brain works. So I searched around for such a thing and found the Snowflake method. It’s like it was designed specifically for me. It was no surprise then when I noticed the creator was also a software architect.
I then sat down and made a list of the ‘one sentence summaries’ (the step 1) I had rattling around in my head. Then I mixed, matched, and narrowed them down until I had just one left.
“A young wizard and a priest lead a scientific expedition into a magical desert and find more than they bargained for.”
Yesterday, I wrote the five sentence summary paragraph and part of the first character page.
So I now know how it starts, ends, and the three major ‘disasters/events’ within as well as the names and general-ish idea of who and what the various characters are. This morning I worked through the characters themselves, building them out, gaining an detailed understanding of them, who they are, and their story beats, which I caused me to change some things around (to be expected, and I expect it to happen a lot more). So far I only have the primary protagonist’s summary ‘done’. Tomorrow I should probably get more than just one, but it’ll take me a couple days to get them all fully fleshed out.
I really like having a plan, strong concrete and daily achievable goals beyond ‘write X number of words’. So I am highly confident I’ll actually be able to pull this enterprise off. I’ll update at various notable points on this site.