Welcome to this week's Novel Support Group (NSG). Anyone can join. If you're new, tell us a bit about who you are and what project you are working on. Feel free to update the NSG Work in Progress thread with your current projects. Although we can report on any number of things, here is a list of suggestions (suggestions welcomed).
What were your goals last week and did you accomplish them?
Describe what you worked on.
Set goals for next week.
Did you learn something during this week?
Here is a list of things that you can do each week as we work on our novels (suggestions welcomed).
Writing on a novel
Last Week's Goals
I did a little last night with the articles I intend to write. I worked to combine what I wrote a couple weeks ago with the Hatrack posts I have made recently.
My goals for next week:
More Article Writing
More research / article writing.
What I need to learn this week
I changed the title for this section. Seemed more appropriate lately.
As I begin work on developing setting, I need to keep a few things in mind as I develop setting. One of the things that can happen when world building is that I may do too much and never get back to writing. It's possible that I may get so deep into the world building, creating awesome new races, languages, whatever, that I forget what the goal is: to write a stories. How do I keep this under control? When will I know what is too much world building? I have come up with three things so far that I feel I need to keep in mind: interest, conflict, story.
As I work on the world building I need to make sure what I'm doing is interesting to me. If not, then how can I write a convincing story that draws in the reader. In addition, I will be extremely bored writing something I have no interest in. I will have little motivation to continue. So, this is the most important thing for me to keep in mind as I either research or develop new settings.
In order to help me not do too much world building, one of the primary things I'll look for is where I can build conflict. For example, when building a society I will look for aspects where one part of society clashes with another (e.g. rich versus poor). This allows me to set aside things that may seem interesting at the time but does not yet present potential conflict. I may later world build something else that may conflict with these interesting bits of information. However, until then I don't want to build too much into the world that would not provide conflict.
The final thing I will look for is story. This does not necessarily mean I will seek out novel ideas but I wouldn't rule out any ideas I may come up with. What I mean is that as I world build I will look for small story aspects related to that setting. An example may better illustrate this. Recently I developed a magic system where different cultures had different opinions about those who used this magic system. Those viewpoints ranged from tolerance to hatred. As such I thought of how would such a group of people recruit new members when the best reaction they could receive was tolerance. I came up with a story idea where a character went into a city to recruit new members. I have not written this story yet, but it gives you an idea of what type of stories I intend to seek out.
By doing developing story as I world build I gain a few things. First, it allows me to world build, research, and write at the same time. Therefore, I won't feel as guilty for not developing or writing a specific novel. Second, after a while I could potentially build up several short stories that could be published alongside a related novel (or in between novels in a series). In addition, an anthology could be printed later. Now, this presumes that I intend to self-publish my works. In that case I would be in control of how frequently and in what manner I publish these additional stories. Third, this provides a more interesting way of describing how your setting works. Now, you could create a encyclopedia of your world, and sometimes you may, but having stories like this could bring your world more alive in your mind (and later your readers).
Goal from last week: I got to the 50,000 word mark I set up as my goal last week on my second Shattuk Downs novel on Sunday 6/3.
Shattuk Downs - Book Two: I did little else and plan on completing it in the next week by 6/10. It looks like it's going to come in at about 75,000 words. Maybe that's okay for a middle book. As of tonight it's 54,000 words with two battles and the denouement to go.
Shattuk Downs - Book One: I'm waiting for one more first reader and then I'll let the 2nd book draft simmer while I do a major rewrite to the first book. I'll probably let this goal slide to the next week.
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