Novel Update #1

This project has been kicking around in my head for years, and I’m pretty darn familiar with the characters and the first half at this point. However, recently I’ve made a push to start working on it seriously again. I have a (very loose) goal of finishing a first draft this year, and to that end, I’m hoping a monthly update here will help keep me on track. I’m prone to thinking I’ve worked on it “recently,” or indeed, “yesterday,” when in fact it’s been months. I want to get this done now.

These will be short posts, made for my own benefit, but friends familiar with the project may be interested and general discussions about the writing process are welcome. If anyone else is working on a novel this year, let’s totally be friends you guys! My project is a vaguely-retro sci-fi space opera about mad scientists and death.

Here’s what I have going into March:

I have a lot of preexisting work (like 40,000 words) and many discussions with my friends about the details, but I decided last year to change the point of view and start again. I can’t even TELL YOU how much better I feel about it with the changes, it had turned into something I barely recognized and now it’s back to the idea I fell in love with in the first place. So, I have all that development to draw from, but I’m basically starting from scratch right now as far as actual text. I’m only using the old plot as inspiration, I’m mostly going from what I had in my head and the plot points I hit with my friend Rose B. Fischer years ago when we were first fooling around with this. (She’s got good writing tips on her blog right now along with other posts, check it out.)

In previous writing efforts I’ve generally overplanned, but I’m turning out to be more of a “pantser” these days. Figuring out what happens is always my favorite part, but previously I’ve done all that in the outline stage and then lost interest in actually writing the story, especially since I get bogged down in the details that way. Post-It notes have always been my preferred planning medium, and this time around I’m listening to my actual preferences and using them as my exclusive planning medium. (Post-It company, I’m totally open to you sponsoring my blog posts from here on out.) I have a sense of where it’s headed in general, but I’ll basically be outlining as I go.

Without further ado: I have 1,333 words written, and here’s what my outline board looks like right now:

Novel outline board

9 thoughts on “Novel Update #1

  1. That’s one way to use an outline, and it’s much more visually interesting than my own. Usually, I write down a basic plot outline in a separate word document in chronological order. As soon as I write it down, it seems to stay in my head pretty well.
    One thing I love about my new smartphone is that I can synch notes with my computer, so if I’m on the road and I think of a new idea, I can just write it in the document and copy/pasted it into one of my notes on the computer.


  2. “I can’t even TELL YOU how much better I feel about it with the changes, it had turned into something I barely recognized and now it’s back to the idea I fell in love with in the first place.”

    I’ve recently gone back to a format I actually LIKED and gave up on years ago. (post about that upcoming). I decided that if I don’t LIKE something I’m not going to write it anymore.



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