Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Write your novel in 30 days!

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Wait, hang on...



If you look at the advice there is for writers, you will know it is mostly of two kinds.

Kind 1) Write, write, write! Keep writing! And from your labors, your story will emerge. This is the sort of chiseling-sculpture out of marble way of doing things, except you are also creating the block of marble you chisel.
Kind 2) Plan, plan, plan! And then write! Character bios, research, etc., etc. This is more like building a suspension bridge.

I am more the first kind of writer, not because I think it works better, but because I literally will not do preliminary work. I will say I am going to, and I will sit down to do it, but somehow, it does not happen; anything that is supposed to be preliminary work just gets glommed on to the block of marble I am working with. At the same time, I benefit from organization, and structure. Because I have none internally, I rely on external cues for it. This is also why I kind of wish I had been brought up with some religion - I think it's good to alienate yourself from certain cognitive processes. Anyways.

My point is, I use a lot of different programs to write.

The first one is WriteRoom. It has the advantage of being totally beautiful. I paid for it, and so should you, but you can try it for free first. Anyway, remember NotaBene? Just you and a black screen with green characters? Or orange, sometimes, but I preferred green? That is basically this. It's good for eliminating distractions - I also write in a dark room, which helps with that.* So. This is the amazing first draft program. V. v. womb-like. I am not sure if you are the fetus, and the novel is the placenta or vice versa, but.

THEN, I import what I have written in to Google Docs, and fuck around and highlight it in different colors and make notes and theoretically, my agent or whoever else can make notes. It is collaborative, and colorful. This is like when the fetus goes in to surgery. Or, you know, starts differentiating cell types, or something.

However, I use TextEdit if I want to work with more than one piece simultaneously, and have tried various content-mapping programs for organizing - still looking for the right one. This is totally not at all like a fetus.

This has been the first point in a series on How To Create External Structures to Supplement your Cognitive Deficiencies. The problem being, you are devising and implementing these structures with the same fucked up brain you have in the first place. And maybe it's all just procrastination! I suspect it is!

*Not blog posts. That's silly, this isn't real.

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