Monday, March 5, 2012

Part Two, Day One

Today I'm starting Part Two of The Owl Bearer, titled "Shadow Envoy". It'll encompass the first half of Act II, from just after plot point one to the mid-point. I'm shooting for no more than 22,500 words. I'm also shooting for finishing this Part in less than the 64 days it took me to write Part One!

I'm going to do some pre-writing work first, in hopes of avoiding the time-expensive backtracking and rewriting I did in Part One. I have the outline I wrote last summer, but since Act I has deviated in places from its original outline, I need to make sure the scenes I'd planned are still relevant, and replace any that aren't. Supplying necessary worldbuilding information and dropping plot clues was what killed me in Act I, so I want to make sure I have all that included in the scene sheets. And I'd like to finish up the emotional toolbox profiles I've been revisiting.

I'm not sure how long to give myself for all that. A week, maybe? I don't want to rush through the planning that will save my bacon later on, but I also know I can linger in this "planning" phase much too long without a kick in the pants to get me writing  already.


  1. Hi, Lianna!

    I am so intrigued by the different exercises that you are using to flesh out your book and keep the forward progression marching along. It has made me realize how much I need to iron out the nuances of what is going on in my own novel.

    I have always struggled with plotting and with pace, so I am going to order The Weekend Novelist and put some of what has been working well for you into practice. I love the idea of spinning and I'm adopting that going forward.

    I signed up for a weekend romance writing conference this spring, so that gives me a nice external goal to work toward.

    Do you ever attend writing conferences? Hugely motivating and the workshops are delicious fun, especially if it is a genre-specific conference.


  2. Kristin, The Weekend Novelist is great for nailing down structure. I also really like the Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook; most of it is better applied to a completed draft, but there's lots of useful character stuff in there.

    Where do you find out about writing conferences? Many moons ago, when I was a grad student and had just begun to dabble in SF, I tagged along with a writer friend to Science Fiction Writer's convention somewhere in Western Massachusetts... or maybe Connecticut. It was a great experience and I'd love to go to either another SF/Fantasy or Romance conference, but I don't know how to find one that's close enough to be doable for me/

  3. Lianna,

    Thank you for the additional book rec--I'll check that one out next. I hope to be in rewrite mode by summer :)

    I know, location is definitely a limiting factor. There are some great conference lists online (such as Writer's Digest), but just straight up searching 2012 Romance/Science Fiction Writers Conferences will bring up a lot of information. That's what I did when I turned 49 (ACK!) a couple of months ago and resolved that I either finish this damn book once and for all or stop calling myself a writer.

    Conferences ARE a great experience; I love not just the workshops, but totally immersing myself in writing and talking about writing for two days. It is great to be able to meet with agents and editors, too to get some concrete advice on saleability. This is why my novel is a Romance/Suspense instead of a straight up Suspense/Horror book--more profitable. I know that SF/Romance is pretty popular, too :)

    I don't know how far you are able to travel, but I am attending the 2012 For the Love of Writing Conference in Virginia Beach, May 4 and 5. If you are in New England that might be too far for you to go, but they have posted their workshop rundown and it looks like a pretty good schedule. The cost is reasonable.

    Let me know if you are interested and I can send you an email. I made my room reservation as well, so I would be happy to share. It would be great to meet you in person!