September 10th, 2006

View from study (sunny)

*A* way to write a novel

Everyone seems to be doing it, so I may as well have a go too...

There are lots of ways to write a novel. Other, more successful people have been writing about them here.) I've tried a couple of methods myself, mostly variants on Sit Down and Start Writing and See Where It Goes. (Which does work, eventually, and I wrote two completed novels that way (plus other fragments) but it involves a lot of thrashing about and rewrites.) But for Moving a Mountain and also for the WIPs, I've settled on a sort of system: Collapse )
  • Current Mood
    thoughtful reflective
View from study (sunny)

Writing progress

Story Title: A Necessary Evil (aka The One About the War)
Words revised today: 1435
Words now in Chapter 2: 5490
Percentage reduction: 1%
Words total: 66,254
Reason for stopping: Getting tired now. Off to watch a DVD for a bit.

It did occur to me this morning, partly as a result of reading Jo Walton's Farthing, that A Necessary Evil might just be salvageable into something a bit different.

Farthing starts off looking like just another country house mystery that will all be resolved at the end by the traditional denouement in the library in which the killer is denounced by the dedicated sleuth who has followed the clues to reveal who done it. But then it takes a much darker turn in the middle and does something orthogonal to a traditional cosy mystery.

If I can pull it off, A Necessary Evil could do the same, that is, start off looking like a traditional Guy From Our World Falls into a Fantasy Land In Need Of A Hero and then turn into something rather different.

But that's a big "if" because I don't write as well as Jo. :-]

I do recommend Farthing very highly, by the way. It was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I thought Jo did an absolutely splendid job with the voices of the two viewpoint characters. And the pacing and rising tension in the second half was particularly well done. It's just as well it was the weekend because I couldn't have put that book down. And the ending was perfectly judged. The sort of ending where you have to sit in quiet thoughtfulness for a while to contemplate it.

And now for something rather more frivolous...

Someone posted a suggested alteration to an opening line of a short passage posted for crit on rasfc. There was something just completely wrong about the tone of the suggestion, and I thought it reminded me of a limerick's first line.

So I sort of turned it into one.

There once was a hiker named Lily,
Who thought it remarkably silly,
To walk all day through,
Without a nice view,
So she much preferred land that was hilly.