Sunday Salon: Reading and Planning

"I'm thinking of" courtesy of Davide Restivo
I finished reading Dracula by Bram Stoker today. I think I know why it took me so long to get around to reading the story.  Age.  As I get older and learn more about writing, the more I appreciate the classics.  It was interesting finally getting to know Jonathan Harker, Van Helsing, Lucy, Mina, and Dr. Seward. It was written back in 1887 and in a unique format - in a series of letters, diary entries and telegrams. Makes for an interesting read. Since it is the Victorian age, the dialogue is long, flowing, pretty at times just to say the simplest thing. I enjoyed it.

I'm still working my way through K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel.  I now have pages and pages of notes and now need to organize a bit.  I came up with my premise sentence or in other words - elevator pitch.  I read it to Father and he started talking about run on sentences and grammar, etc.   Not the point, dear.  He's a stickler for that stuff.  After he got past it, he said he liked it.  He's been enjoying helping me brainstorm. Every time I come up with an idea, he has much to contribute.  He's great for the technical and spy stuff.

I'm working on scenes, setting, and character background and backstory.  I always considered myself sort of a pantster with a little bit of plotting thrown in.  This time I'm plotting with a bit of pantster thrown in. We'll see how it goes.    A lot to do with only 8 days left to November, however....   My timing is perfect.  We just completed 7 weeks of lessons and are taking a week off.  We usually home school year round with 3 to 4 weeks on and one week off so we all are quite ready for a break.  Will have plenty of time amidst making James Sonic the hedgehog costume for Halloween.   I also printed off Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method which I finally get it and will be incorporating it because he has some really great suggestions. 

Speaking of suggestions, be sure to check out Em and Lena's weekly mashup of writing links on the Fun Not Fear! Nano support group blog.  

Plus I've been checking out Literature and Latte's Scrivener and after having completed the tutorial, am in love.  Going to give the window's beta version a try for Nano.  I'll be spending the week typing in my notes and exploring it a bit more. Should know by the end of the week if it's doable for me. 

You know how I asked this question in last sunday's post:   "At what point does your mind blow up from too many characters and different story lines?   Is it possible to channel them all and keep the stories straight?"   The earth is in alignment and there once again is synchronicity.   I received Holly Lisle's weekly tip email and the question was exactly that.  Her answer: 

I strongly recommend working on one project at a time.

If you work on multiples, then I recommend having one in planning,
one in first draft, and one in revision AT MOST.

I do not EVER recommend working on two first drafts, two revisions,
or two planning stages simultaneously.

The reason is:

1) With one project at a time, you stay focused and get it done.

2) With three projects, but each in a different stage of production, you can still maintain your focus because each sort of work is different enough to require different parts of your brain, different actions, different ways of thinking.  You can maintain a clear separation between each project and what you're doing on it (though it's hard).

3) With two or more projects at the same stage of development, you   end up wasting time going between notes on your different characters and worlds, trying to keep your stories straight.

Thank you Universe!  Check out how how ROWers are  doing and be sure to leave them a note of encouragement.


  1. Yes, it's planning week for me too! I'm really determined this time and I can tell my mindset is different this time around. =O)

    Great advice about having more than one project going. Thanks for sharing!

    I haven't been back over to the NaNo forums in a few days...I've been in read-a-thon mode, but I will stop by this week. We need to keep the support going. I think that's going to help me a lot!

    Lovely new header!

  2. Good luck with the writing. I have no advice, but I'm happy to cheer you along!

  3. I can't follow that bit of advice from Holly exactly. (I've heard that quote before.) Pretty much all of my WIPs are in the same stage. I've got 4-5 novels and some short stories in rough draft stage. I do tend to focus on one at a time, but I can't work on just one until it's finished because at some point my brain hits a wall. That's when I pull out one of the others and work on that for awhile. Yes, it'll take me fricking forever to finish any of them, but it keeps me from stalling completely. And my stories are different enough that switching between them doesn't confuse me. It might take a little bit to remind myself of what I had going, but that's it. None of them mix in my head.

    And I love Scrivener. I've been using it for 4 years now I think. I don't use even half the features but I wouldn't be even half as far as I am on any of my projects without it. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. I read Dracula for a college class many years ago, and really liked it. It has been a long time though, and I wonder if I would still feel the same way. There are some scenes that are still imprinted on my memory! Glad to hear that you had fun with it!

  5. I've often thought of reading Dracula and I still might. Your home school schedule is great..I think a break is a good thing! Have fun planning your writing!

  6. I with Holly on that one. If I work on more than one project at one time, nothing gets done. I haven't used the Windows version of Scriv that much but I *love* Scriv for Mac. I hope you like it. Good luck with NaNo, it's coming fast!

  7. One short story, one novel at a time for me. Anything more than that makes my head spin. Since I'm already working on a novel, my NaNo status this year is rebel, and proud of it.

  8. I read Dracula once for high school and once or twice for college. I loved it. I'd like to immerse myself in the classics again.

    Good luck with your writing goals.

  9. Best of luck on your writing! I put down Dracula and need to get back to it.


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