Writing faster than greased lightning is one of the holy grails of writing, or, at least, it is in my world. The thought of being able to whip out a decent first draft in under two months makes me giddy, let alone one. While there are many methods that can help you do that, phase drafting is the one that works for me.
At it’s most basic, phase drafting is the step between your outline (if you have one) and your first draft. If you’re a pantser, it’s like outlining without actually outlining and if you’re a plotter, it’s a way to test drive your plot, fill in holes and follow any interesting tangents that come along. For a more comprehensive description, read ‘It’s Just a Phase’.
Note: the Self-Publishing Podcast team uses the same method, but with a different name, which they explain in episode 64 of their podcast. They’ve also provided a sample document, which is well worth the download. Continue reading →
About the same time I revisted the BS2, Jami Gold posted an excellent article about using beat sheets with Scrivener. What I liked most about the article was the idea of using the target word count for individual chapters and scenes to lay out the beats.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to word counts, I find big numbers like 100k pretty intimidating. One of the beauties of the beat sheet is that it breaks down these numbers into manageable chunks. For a 100k-word novel, however, some of those chunks are still 25k words, so I took the idea one step further, with Scrivener. Continue reading →
It’s daunting, especially when your manuscript is half-written
No capacity to outline subplots
When I first came across Blake Synder’s Beat Sheet (BS2), I was half-way through the manuscript for Hero and the word count for each beat made me to blanch. The idea of trying to shoehorn my (at that point in time) pantsed story into all of those little boxes (opening image, catalyst, black moment) with their prescribed word counts, was more than my brain could take, but when I went back to the BS2, a new story in mind, they appeared as godsends. Continue reading →
For the past month, between work, karate and finally reading Divergent (excellent book, by the way), I’ve been working on the second draft of Hero. And although I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked, and I’m busting to get to the second part of the my revision process (editing the prose – why does ‘prose’ always sound so snobbish?), the novel is coming along nicely.
I might have previously mentioned that I love templates, and you might ask why. I love them because they make world-building easier, not in a ‘this is how things must be done’ way, but in a ‘here’s some questions to get you started’ way.
Sometimes, when I’m in the thick of creating a story, or the world it’s going to be set in, I have an idea for a something (generally a plant, animal, person or thing). This something often plays an important role in my developing plot (or world), and while I may know a few details, such as its name and function, the nitty-gritty can elude me. Continue reading →
I’m frustrated. I’m on the second re-working of the plot for my novel (the first re-working I consigned 17,000 words to the trash heap) and I’m still not entirely sure what the buggery I’m doing. Continue reading →