Sunday, September 24, 2006

"The House of Many Doors" at 8K

I'm very excited about this project. So are both my sons. A 5th and and 8th grader, they are likely the target audience for this story, so I have some built in readers. I'm enjoying the process of bouncing ideas off of them for the story. They have some wonderful insights.

Writing in first person narrative is both easier and more difficult than I had anticipated. It allows me to inhabit Parker's world more fully than when I've written in 3rd person, limited. Because I have to filter *all* the aspects of the story through his eyes, it keeps the story tightly focused. However, this also limits the role of other characters and I need to plan out scenes very carefully. Interactions between Parker and his fellow characters have to advance the story in a natural way, with the plot unfolding for Parker along with the reader. Avoiding any hint of 'as you know, Bob' is a challenge.

Although this is a YA/middle grade story, I can see similarities to detective-noir stories in the voice.

I know that I will have extensive editing to do to ensure Parker does sound like a believable 14 year old boy, but the story has legs and I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

I'm using something new to organize this one. For my previous 2 novels (Wings of Winter and MindBlind), I've used text files to store character and plot details. Just as I was starting "Doors", I read an article in Vision on using a personal wiki (the author uses pbwiki) to organize a novel.

I'm a computer geek, so I thought I might give it a shot. I wasn't sure whether it would be a help or a colossal time waster.

I set up a main page with links to characters, setting, brainstorming, and outline pages. I love that you can cross link to key words or phrases and I keep it open in a small window as I write. PBWiki has a free service and you can set it up as a private wiki that cannot be seen or edited by anyone but the author. Another advantage is that you can store files on the wiki space--yet another place for backing up work. And I can access the wiki from any computer, make a pdf of any of the pages, upload or download files.

So far, a positive help and not a time waster.

I'm hoping to keep to my 5K a week goal, with a first draft completed by January.

In the meanwhile, queries for MindBlind are out in the world.

Happy writing, all!

1 comment:

  1. This is a cool project, and it's great that you are embracing a really cutting edge technology to help you build the story. I sometimes use text files to store ideas, but never thought about using a wiki to cross-reference ideas.