Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Responding to comments...
First, Màili- no need to be gentle in correcting me! Feel free to deliver a ruler to my knuckles for mixing up the BBC and Channel 4! I'm always open to constructive criticism - even in my blog posts :-) And I hate posting inaccurate info!

Rene and Teresa - LOL re my organizational skills. My husband would be ROTFL if he read what you'd said. Well, maybe not quite, because I CAN be organized when necessary (you should see the file I kept when we moved 4 years ago), BUT, except for my writing, I'm very DISorganized. You should see my office! There are papers EVERYWHERE. I try hard to keep things in order and easy to find, but I swear the paper mates and produces many, many paper babies *g*.

As for my anal retentive habits related to my writing, it's the ONLY way I can do it. I HAVE to know what's going to happen. And have to be certain my characters don't travel too quickly (a pet peeve amongst many readers of historicals). This is why FDin30D speaks to me so clearly. I crave structure after years of writing papers at university by doing all the research, then hauling ALL the books with me to the computer room the day before or morning the essay was due and typing like a madwoman till it was done - editing on greenline paper several times before sending to the printer on the other side of campus (this was in the days before most of us had PCs and I used the wordprocessor on the university's mainframe system).

I swore when I began writing my MA thesis that I'd approach it differently and began to be more organized. Figured the method described above would NOT meet with my supervisor's approval *g* and might lead to difficulties! My thesis was, in effect, a book, so it makes sense that I learned a little in the process and applied it when I returned to my fiction writing after graduating.

I wrote much of my first complete romance ms (I'd started a YA one as a teenager, but never finished it), pretty much blind. Had no idea about internal/external conflict, GMC etc. Not consciously, anyway. I did outline before writing, but flew into the mist for many of the scenes.

My second ms, the time travel, was a little more organized - I knew what scenes I wanted a wrote them one by one. But still I found I did fly into that mist from time to time as the characters took over.

The same thing happened with this ms. However, by then I was using WriteWayPro, which included a scene template. I set myself a deadline at this time last year to complete the ms by September (it was actually October - I was off by a month) and knew the ONLY way I could do it was to really discipline myself and that meant having a pretty clear idea of the approximate number of scenes I'd write and the basics of what would happen in each one. Using those scene templates, I'd plan ahead a chapter or two, then let everything "percolate" (see Ch 1 of FDin30D) for a couple of days. Then I'd sit down and write - well, actually I mostly took dictation from my characters who didn't always follow along with the scene I'd planned for them *g*. It was actually kinda cool - finding out stuff about my characters as the scene evolved.

Now, had I not been a) working at the office most of last summer and b) gone away 3 times I likely would have finished the book a LOT faster. Which is why FDin30D appeals to me so much. I really CAN see, from my own experience, how preparing a complete outline can drastically increase the speed at which you complete an ms.

Hmm - I think I've blithered on enough and likely strayed from what I originally meant to say, which was, don't be fooled. I SOUND organized, but if it weren't for the tools I have at my disposal (WWP and FDin30D), I'd be far more lost.


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