Thursday, November 10, 2011

First parse: the post

g'day gentle reader 

One of my characters, after a difficult encounter, sarcastically says "That went well." I feel the same way about my attempt to blog the process of writing book three in the trilogy.

I did warn - the blog might suffer to achieve my writing targets. It did. My last (delayed) post of cobbled together snips from my facebook page is a good example of "That went well - not."

Enough with the wailing & gnashing of teeth 

Where am I? The last couple of months since finishing (besides futzing) I've been sorting a decade of associated material

It's like the unseen bulk of an iceberg ~ the resulting trilogy is just the tip

Many directories shown have sub-directories. The names (obviously) reflect the contents

In the process I found I had multiple copies of nearly every file sometimes saved only minutes apart. I'm a hoarder and I don't trust computers; I save everything.

Even culled, sorted and assembled as at left, it's a lot of material. Why so much?
  I'm writing SF 

SF writer's start from scratch: size rotation, axial tilt, number of moons if any, ratio of land to ocean, age of planet, existing flora, fauna, and sentient life (Terra Nullius is a great concept but unlikely for any human colonisable planet) All these extra factors have to be taken into account while I edit.

For example: I have several maps of my world so that my distances and directions are accurate and I can develop realistic weather patterns based on its geography.  

For  'real world'  fiction, this is all done. 
It's called an Atlas. 

Hence the time spent sorting the plethora of collected material before serious editing. (I've also complied a heap of interesting stats on the work but that's another post.)

For those who've been following there have been several changes in story direction, characters, locations, props etc over the decade plus it took to write, though i have to admit a lot of them were done in the last year while writing book three. (post kidney transplant - brain function normalised) 

Most recently I've done the first full parse through the entire trilogy riping out the artificial chapter divisions in favour of a scenic route. [I work in Word and use outline extensively.] The results in parsing are: 

1. I've deleted all prologues and interludes. They were all from Hedley's POV. (An awakened colonist  managing the planet for the AI.) I've decide on a different approach for him and for the prologues.

2. Book Two is now in 3 parts which buggers the carefully designed pattern I started with but as always, the needs of the story trump the designs of the author.

I now have the 560,000 words spread over 1300 scenes. Time to justify the need for each scene then reorganise what's left.

until my next post 'ooroo  


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