“Writing fiction is...about passion and endurance, a combination of desire and grunt work often at odds with each other.”
Maureen Howard

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Distractions on the way towards a chapter outline.
Mon 2005-12-05 22:15:15 (in context)
  • 51,946 words (if poetry, lines) long
  • 54.00 hrs. revised

Four chapters into the outline. Only four. Why only four? Well, those four chapters are already written (I mean, revised; the rest of the book is all NaNo-draft). So, writing them into the outline was a matter of observation, not planning. And observation led to certain distractions, word-and-line-level edits, and the taking of notes. Such as:

  • The symbolism of the pen and journal being like a sword and shield. Example: They are Sasha's defense/comfort when visiting Anubia. Example: Magically charged and returned to her, they are like quest items given to the hero of a fantasy story.
  • The real reason no one at school tries to mess with Anubia: they all know something Sasha only just found out. They know that Anubia has killed. This is also part of why no one at school likes her much. Not that her being a lesbian and a witch help much, not in this small Alabama town.
  • I need to decide on an actual fountain pen for Sasha. If Uncle "Traveling" Matt brought it back from Vienna, you can bet there's an appropriately fancy and expensive Viennese fountain pen model in real life. (Yes, Uncle Matt's nickname is from Fraggle Rock. Whyever not?)
  • If you mention the Salem Witch Trials at the beginning of a book about witchcraft, the witch trial motif had better show up later in the book. Even if only in flashback. Maybe to do with how the town treated Anubia after the murder/self-defense episode. (Note to self: How the heck did she not get lynched?)
  • Anubia and Uncle Matt share some marked conversational characteristics. The bombast, for starters. The pompous know-it-all attitude. Only when he does it, it's charming. When she does it, it's obnoxious. From Sasha's point of view, anyway.
So what with one thing and another, the rest of the chapter outline will have to wait until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a couple recommendations. If you are sitting down to edit your first novel, it helps to fortify yourself with a calm-smelling candle and a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream and black rum. Well, it helps me, anyway.