Tipping Over …

Giving up the Fight (2)

Today marks an important transition: the day I tipped over from note taking to writing book five in the Crater Lake series. Word count – 1500. A modest start, you say. True … but I am thrilled. My dormer desk is working like an early spring tonic. The chance to focus and let my thoughts roam free is invigorating and productive. Even just a couple of hours at the keyboard in this new setting, when combined with my daily walk on the lake trails, has the creative pump gushing ideas all day long.

Not all is easy breezy, though. There is the early stage of idea overwhelm to deal with. I have been here before but that doesn’t seem to help. It goes something like this – I get one scene roughed out. I’m comfy in the heads of a couple of characters. Then, before I can stop myself, I’m thinking of all the other characters who are literally clamouring for attention and I start to panic. Can one brain hold so many storylines?

Mossy Buddha meme

When it starts, I tell myself – that’s what paper is for. Get it down, one section at a time and move on.

Prior to getting my cherished 1500 words today, I had combined all my notes into one Word doc. I set up the handy-dandy navigation tool in order to quickly move between sections.

Capture - navigation pane

I recall blogging about this feature when working on my last book. First, choose a heading under styles for your chapter and section titles. Generate a table of contents and then with a simple click, turn on the navigation pane (under view) and quickly move to any section. At this stage of writing, I make my chapter and section titles super descriptive.

The Word doc I’m describing is now my prelim, prelim, prelim first draft. And that is one exciting statement! Next, I begin roughing in each section of the first four chapters. These I’ve already outlined in some detail. Once that is done, all my characters will be on the playing board ready to rock and roll. If experience is any guide, I won’t need to do much outlining after that – the characters will take over the story. I will simply be the scribe.

Twitter banner 2a

I wonder what the cover number five will look like? Too soon to even guess.

7 comments on “Tipping Over …

  1. MariHoward says:

    This is exciting. It is encouraging too, as I am coming along behind you, hopefully – at the stage of getting some idea of what this book will be like, and about to trawl through trying to place each character in 2007 and 2017, and make notes. I like your notes-to-writing scheme: can’t quite follow it but it looks good, shall think about it. Also, dimwit that I am, only JUST realised that the titles all rhyme – sight, light, night, right … Why didn’t that become obvious before? Does everyone else see it? May I possibly re-blog? And all best with next stage 1,500 per day or more?

  2. So funny … about the rhyming titles. I should write a post about that. How I thought it was a great idea and then hated it and was stuck with it and am now liking it again. Full circle. Blanket permission to reblog anytime, Mari. And many thanks. And best wishes as you start your writing engine.

  3. Francis: Isn’t it a wonderful feeling knowing the writing “juices” are once again flowing? I’m inspired by your posts. The keyboard calleth! Best wishes to you as your book sprouts and grows into something fabulous.

  4. Behind the Story says:

    I enjoy reading about your process. It sounds like you’ve made a very good start.

    • Thanks, Nicki. I have – sticking to my plan to spend an hour and half locked away in the dormer room is great. I find myself coming back to the draft after my walk and later in the day. I have managed to start my engine 🙂

  5. Roy McCarthy says:

    I found your Navigation Pane tip made life far easier during my last project Francis, thank you.

    And isn’t it great when your characters take over?

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