Wednesday, November 05, 2008

AK tries a new writing technique.

Hi, gang. I found a fantastic book at Barnes and Noble called "First Draft in 30 Days" by Karen Wiesner.

is the link for Amazon.

The reason I bought this book is that I'm a plotter. I normally write one sentence for every scene that I plan for a book. In my last book, GUARDIAN, which I just turned in (Yay, me!) The plot did help, but then when I hit several of the scene, the book came to a screeching halt for a day or two while I brainstormed my way out of it.

So I started reading this book, hoping for a way to improve my productivity. I'm convinced that writing more books, better and faster, is the key to success. It seems that the authors that are really popular are productive as well as skilled.

(Many of them seem to be pantsers, too, but I simply can't pants. I've tried, and my muse doesn't work that way.)

The premise of this book is how to create a really detailed plot in a month. It's not a book in a month kind of thing. I've never been able to do book in a month. But this book gives you a schedule and technique to create characters, do a rough plot, then research, then add more and more detail to your plot until you know the details. You can then read and evaluate the plot and find any weaknesses that would keep the book from working.

In the end, you have a long plot about a fourth the length of your full manuscript. By plotting this way, you work out many of the missing details so you can blow through the book. I'm currently plotting a novella this way as an experiment, and it seems to be going well.

One of the techniques it suggests is to look for photos of settings, such as your characters' bedrooms, living rooms, etc. This is appealing to me, because I've always found it difficult to come up with good descriptions of locations that don't sound like what I've used before. I'm even rendering pics and storyboards of characters and scenes. The hope there is to help me solidify the story in my mind.

One of the new tricks I discovered was I did some long drives to Charlotte, which is 90 minutes from my town. That long drive gave my muse time to come up with all kinds of juicy details. The conflict I've come up with feels really strong. Too, one of the ideas I've come up with is the core of a new Mageverse arc for the next several books of the series.

Yesterday I finished character sketches for my hero, heroine and primary villain. I like the romantic conflict I've developed, and the interpersonal conflicts feel good.

I'll continue to blog on my progress and tell you how it goes. Thanks!

Oh, this novella will be in a Christmas anthology for 2009. I don't even know the title or release date yet. But I can tell you the story is currently called "Vampire's Ball." The core idea is that during the Dragon War (which we saw in MASTER OF DRAGONS), many of the Magekind were killed. So Arthur has decided to do a recruiting drive. The Magekind is holding a ball, to which they've invited a large number of Latents they believe can survive the transition. The latents are also expected to face a series of challenges. This will give me a chance for appearances by heroes from previous books, such as Kel and Reece Champion. The hero of the book is a Ridge Champion, a descendant of Reece's. His job is to work with heroine Katherine Danilo, a latent who is a fitness instructor.

Katherine has very good reason to become a latent, but at first Ridge thinks she's one of those who just wants to become an immortal witch. He soon discovers her motives are far more powerful -- and dark -- than that.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on the progress on my book!

Angela Knight

Angela Knight