A Few New Things

Outlining is going apace. I’m really glad I’m doing it because it’s revealed a lot of weak points in my story that I would’ve steamrolled me over in the middle of the drafting process. It’s also revealed the tremendously detailed balancing act that writing a novel actually is – you need to balance characters, plot,  and scenes, you need to have a developed backstory, and show that backstory to the reader (but not too directly!), you need to make sure that there is always conflict brewing, and you need to keep tabs on a thousand different things that all have to come together in the end.

It’s a wonder that I ever wrote anything before without planning it to this extent. Even if this experiment is a failure, it will at least be a useful one, and when it all comes down it, maybe that’s what matters.

One area where I really feel like my newbishness is showing is trying to figure out how to make the characters clearly motivated, interesting, and full of conflict. For instance, I got halfway through my outline before I suddenly realized that one of the main characters, Eileen, didn’t really have any motivation for playing my little game, and the other two main characters had every reason not to play it. If this were my draft and not my outline, then I’d probably be skipping a few scenes right there.

So now what I thought was going to be a two-day process is turning into a week-long one. And I’m glad I allocated even more than that, given that my last few days have not been especially productive. Over the weekend, I didn’t really have any excuse but laziness, and today has been an energy-draining downer, so I’m hoping to pile it on Wednesday on my day off.

TL;DR: Outlining good.

Quickly! You can has links:

  • I had never heard of them before last week, but apparently Atomic Rockets is the go-to place on the internet for high-quality, hard science fiction descriptions of outer space warfare and the ships that will fight them. The amount of detail on display goes past obsessive and into the realm of the surreal.
  • Venus looks more boring than you think it does. It’s a lot more boring, and one heck of a lot brighter. Via my homies at the Planetary Society.
  • Astronomy Cast, my very favorite science podcast. They cover a wide variety of subjects and are incredibly approachable.

Also, a quick heads up: I’m going to be out of town and away from the internets from Thursday to next Monday, so no updates until then. Feel free to stop by, though, maybe leave some comments and elevate my hit counter.

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