Friday, November 7, 2008

Some Physics

I have decided that I need to do more research on the metaphysical setting of the novel. Just writing about writing does not count as writing, so in order to accomplish something creative I started a brief essay on the physicist Emil Wolf that I have been kicking around. Here's a teaser:

If you have any knowledge of Quantum Mechanics, then you are probably familiar with the name Max Born. You may even be familiar with the encyclopedic book Principles of Optics, which he wrote with his young student Emil Wolf. But unless you are a theoretical physicist working in the rarefied field of optical coherence theory, you probably know nothing about Emil Wolf. In particular you probably do not know that he is alive and well and (at the age of 82) still publishing dozens of paper every year. Even more importantly, you probably do not know that many of the things that you think you know about light are wrong... and I am looking at you, physicists.

Today's writing totals:
Novel: 567 words
Blog: 169 words (Yeah, I counted the essay excerpt twice. Sue me.)
DAILY TOTAL: 736 words


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Elevator Pitch

My goal this month is to repeat the 15,000 words from last month. That's 500 words/day, which is pretty easy, actually. I'm also restricting blog time to 15 minutes, as I don't want this to eat too much into creative endeavors.

I'm still working my way through the Snowflake Method. I wrote a one sentence summary of the novel, which currently goes like this:

A free-spirited preacher’s daughter tries to hold her family together when millions of people, including her mother, vanish in the autumn of 1988 in an event that resembles the Biblical Rapture.

That's probably all that I'll say about the story until I have a second draft completed.

Right now I'm working on summarizing the plot into a paragraph that describes the situation, the basic crisis points, and the ending. I am finding this extremely difficult, which is probably symptomatic of deeper plot problems. When I wrote the novel, I had a clear vision of the characters and the situation, but I didn't know what would happen. The story grew organically out of it, which is good in many ways. Now, though, I need craftsmanship rather than creativity, and that involves disassembling what I wrote before. That's just not as easy as it sounds.

Oh, and I also need an ending... somehow I neglected to really find one in my previous draft.

I'll take another crack at the paragraph summary tomorrow.

Today's writing totals:
Novel: 552 words
Blog: 234 words
DAILY TOTAL: 786 words


Sunday, November 2, 2008

No No NaNo

I decided to bail out of NaNoWriMo this year, and instead focus on revising my first novel. My goal is to average at least 500 words/day, and maybe crank that up to 1000 words/day. To do that I will need to make more effective use of my time. Specifically I can't spend quite so much time staring at the keyboard without writing. Another productivity boost will be to reduce the volume of blog and journal entries, so that non-creative writing doesn't eat up quite so much of my daily word count. Specifically, I'm going to limit my blogging time to 15 minutes/day. The goal of this blog is really just to post my word count, and inform a few interested souls about what it's like to write a first novel. (Those of you seeking a schadenfreude fix will particularly enjoy the future entries, where my self-esteem will be crushed by a steady stream of rejection letters, first from editors and later from publishers. Boy, I know I can't wait for that!)

Today's literary find: Fragments of a Faith Forgotten by G. R. S. Mead (1900).