Archive | November 2017

Uncle Josh Begins in the Middle

One thing that stops me, or at least slows me down, is getting the opening right. I had a horrible habit of writing the opening scene and not liking it or not having enough to keep going so I’d write it again and try to get that killer first line that would somehow make the rest of the novel just flow and the plot work like Lily Hevesh in her studio.

So my plan this NaNo was to not write my opening scene. I know what happens. I know where it takes place and I know the key phrases that need to be said, but I’m not writing this novella that way. I am taking the path of James Scott Bell’s Write your Novel from the Middle and I spent day one writing that middle scene, the midpoint Bell describes in his book. I figure when I get to writing the opening scene, I’ll be ready to write it and I won’t second guess myself every sentence.

This morning I worked on the bit Bell calls the Argument Against Change, which sets up the protagonist’s inner transformation.

So tomorrow, by that logic, I should write the transformation, which is pretty much the end of the story. Thankfully I know what happens there as well. It’s really an epilogue sort of thing and that will be nice to write if I choose do write that in the morning.

I’ve also been using Bell’s companion book Super Structure where he fleshes out the ideas from the first book.

So as of today I’m over 4K, which the NaNoWriMo site tells me at this pace I’ll finish by November 25. I’ve seen that before. Life will happen. OryCon will happen. Changes at work will happen.

But for now I am writing again and that’s what I need to do.

Uncle Josh Begins in the Middle was originally published on Uncle Josh Talks Too Much


Uncle Josh Writes Again (NaNoWriMo 2017)

I’ve had this idea bouncing around for probably the better part of a year, so the exact source of inspiration is lost to memory, but I’m sure I have the note in some app or file somewhere. I had been thinking about wizards and apprentices and how the progression of knowledge got passed down in some stories. The Sith “Rule of Two” seems to have been the rule. The idea I had turned that around. I had an apprentice who needed to find the wizard, because reasons. I’ve since managed to come up with reasons and call it a back story.

I have not been writing a lot and haven’t submitted a story for a couple of years. I got tired of rejection. I took a break. I played around with a few ideas but nothing has really gelled so this is all about butt-in-chair and getting my fingers moving in manuscript format instead of Python. I purchased a second-hand mechanical keyboard and moved the keys around and it kind of works well except I need a tall wrist pad because my arms got very tired in my first hour-long writing session this morning.

I also tried writing on the train to church and experimented with a qwerty layout and two thumbs and that lasted about five seconds before I got frustrated and went back to my left-handed dvorak layout on my phone. I managed a pretty good clip of about 1,000 words an hour which is what I used to do regularly, so I was satisfied with that. I also managed to salvage the obvious typos. “Yadda yadda yadda” turned into “baccalaureate baccalaureate bocce” for some strange reason that only Google understands.

I did feel good about writing, though. I have a loose outline and a few signposts. It’s looking to be a good NaNo year.

Uncle Josh Writes Again (NaNoWriMo 2017) was originally published on Uncle Josh Talks Too Much