writeafirstnovel

follow a rookie writing his first novel

Archive for the tag “WriteItNow 4”

a word on inner consistency

When we first start to tell a story keeping the events in the right order is no big deal. However as the word count rises so does the probability of getting events or conversations out-of-order. Even one of my literary heroes Carlos Castaneda fell foul of this when he invented the mythos surrounding his meetings with the enigmatic shaman Down Juan Mathus. It was DeMille who first pointed out that his diary dates and events did not hold true. So how can this happen?

I think part of the problem stems from having an overall idea of the story which while not fully defined, we carry round in our head while writing. It can be all to easy then to allow a character knowledge of an event which either has not happened yet, or more subtly, which they could not yet know about.

Then again, inconsistency might creep in if we have a couple of weeks rest from the story. It is not all that easy to pick up all the threads straight away (especially with my aging brain). I’m sure there are lots of other reasons just waiting to trip me up in the months to come.

As I get further into the novel I find this a growing problem. I just noticed a bit part character which I started off by calling Kevin has miraculously turned into Steve! Now I shall have to go back to find out where this name change happened.

I have thought of other measures I might take, such as background notes giving more detail to the locations, characters and events. I might also construct a timeline of events with times and dates. Although Writeitnow4 supports this, it all seems like a lot of work but at the moment I cannot think of a viable alternative.

So, what do you do on works of over 30,000 words? How do you avoid these inconsistencies?

 

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Change is as good as a rest

Or so they say. This week I’ve changed my writing venue. From the office to the dining room/library. In reality this move is about three and a half yards but in perception it is indeed another country. I now have a large window to look out of; and look out of it I do! So first, here is a picture of my new writing space:

2013-01-20 11.12.20

Now, Scrivener is totally brilliant and I won’t hear a word against it but… it is a tad more complex than I actually require and being a Microsoft boy at heart I don’t find it particularly intuitive (probably because it has Mac origins). I came across a package called WriteItNow 4. This is a much simpler no-nonsense piece of software that is aimed specifically at novel-writing. It has a Microsoft look and feel to it and is so intuitive I didn’t have to refer to help files once. The other good thing (at least in my book) is that it saves your project as a single file – with Scrivener, I am never really sure which files are my specific project ones so I end up saving several of them and hoping.

So new space, new software, raring to go? Let’s look out of the window a little bit more first.

We have a lot of birds in our garden, largely due to my partners diligence in feeding them all year round. I have noticed though that there is one particular (very fat) blackbird who obviously thinks he owns the bird table. When he is not stuffing his beak he sits on a nearby pillar and guards it against the other birds. See the culprit here:

2013-01-20 11.07.48 Of course it is a losing battle and he expends much energy on this hopeless cause. Some of the other birds just watch from a nearby tree, waiting for their chance to swoop down mob handed and raid the table. Here they are:

2013-01-20 11.22.14

Right then, new venue, new software, window looked out of, and on with the actual writing. Well, after I’ve had another cup of tea, updated this blog and checked Facebook, Twitter and G+. Yes, then I’ll be ready…..

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