Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Black Journal

Today I thought I'd share some of my writing techniques. Please realize these are still in the experimental stages and I'm in no way suggesting you should follow what I do.

What prompted me to start keeping a notebook on the Zaphkiel Project, my current WIP, was the amount of research I accumulated on the Transit of Venus, planetary harmonics, and pentacles. Rather than shove printed copies into a file or binder, I decided to tape them into a journal I'd picked up at my local Barnes and Noble. Not only were my references organized, I had room to jot any notes.

During this time, I also worked on the plot and characters using yWriter, a free writing software. Again, rather than let loose sheets of paper get misplaced in files or shoved into bulky binders, I decided to cut and tape the pages I printed into the black journal. These included chapters and scene breakdowns and character profiles. 

Part of my reason for compiling notes is I have a terrible time with character motivation. (I can see my editor nodding. "Yes. Yes.") By doing extensive character profiles, including GMCs (goal, motivation, and conflict charts), I hope to spot any potential plot problems in the preplanning stages.

The character sheets are courtesy of Anne Olwin. I've filled out several such worksheets but I think these are my favorite by far. I also use Josh Lanyon's techniques in creating unique characters via The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit, a blog post on Romance University.

Seems a lot of prep work, doesn't it? Next month I'm participating in BIAM_Writathon and hope to compile another notebook for my vampire Victorian paranormal. That's my proposed NaNo project.  Of course, it'll probably take more than one journal.

Will I keep this technique? Good question. Right now I like it, even if I do use a lot of tape. I suppose there's rubber cement. :-)

Here's the way I see it. Whatever helps me write a damn good story works for me.

No comments: