Marvin, the Paranoid Android
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted – too long in fact. I’ll blame it on Life, the Universe, and Everything.
No, I haven’t gotten a lot of progress in the actual writing of the novel. But that’s not to say I haven’t been busy. Actually, I’ve gone through some of the most creative days since I started, jotting down many notes. The shape of the storyline is really starting to come together now. I don’t want to misrepresent myself; there’s still a long way to go. But for the first time, the actual frame of the story with the character interactions, plot points, etc. are really starting to come together. Not only that, but I’ve really made some headway on the themes (not to mention, how to pull it all together).
So yes, I am very happy with my progress, even if it is not the tangible, words-on-the-meter kind of progress.
Here’s some other things I’ve been doing:
Books – I’ve read several now that I don’t think I’ve mentioned. A Complicated Kindness and The Flying Troutmans, both by Miriam Toews. Sideways by Rex Pickett (again). jPod by Douglas Coupland (for the first time – actually might be my favourite after Generation X…) I know there were one or two others, but they’re not springing to mind. I’ll get back to you on those.
Debating outline – I promised that I would give my view on outlines vs. no outline, but I am still working out how I feel about the whole thing. “Pantsing”, as I learned here (http://storyfix.com/an-homage-to-pantsing), is basically writing by the seat of your pants with no clear direction. Which is (ahem) exactly what I’m doing. Larry Brooks gives a pretty compelling argument against it.
However I think in my case I’m doing fine at this point because (a) it’s helping me flesh out the story and (b) my main goal right now is just to complete the first draft. I’m pretty much decided that I’m going to create a written story outline before I start the second draft. So here it is: sans outline for now, then a complete framework before I enter draft 2.
I’ll write up my feelings soon.
A shout out and congrats – …to one of the people who helped me start out on this journey. Terry Fallis’s book The Best Laid Plans was recently named a Canada Reads 2011 Top Five Finalist, and will have none other than CNN’s Ali Velshi defending it in the New Year. Read more about it here: http://terryfallis.com/2010/11/24/tblp-a-canada-reads-finalist-im-a-basket-case/
Terry has been an inspiration for me from the beginning, not only in his writing but also in his own story, from self-published writer to Stephen Leacock Medal winner to, well, all of this! I told him he was living the dream, and come on, how could you argue otherwise? Very happy for him – he deserves all the success he’s getting.
Anyway, more writing updates coming soon. Life is still beating at my door, but it should be tamed soon enough.
In other words, don’t panic.