No writing tonight, but I spent the last hour or so filling in more details of the plot and why things are happening, as well as motivations behind the various characters and how those motivations influence the actions that characters will take throughout the story. I’ve got nearly a full handwritten page in microscopic pencil print of notes that begin to comprise the foundation of the story. A very loose structure is beginning to form; it looks as though there will be three parts to the novel, each part titled with a significant Latin proverb. I have also outlined some significant interactions between the characters and how the virtues of one character balance the flaws of another and vice versa. I feel pretty good about the direction the novel is going.
The crucial thing is to establish the hook. It is the first 40-60 pages of the novel that get sent to the publisher, along with an outline of the rest of the story. Those first 60 pages have to make the reader want to read the next 60 pages so it can’t start slowly. Even with all of the extra detail one can go into in a novel, it has to keep moving and keep the reader interested which to me seems particularly challenging as a writer, even though as a reader, I am often hooked throughout a book.
So as things stand, I’m 2.0% of the way through the schedule, and still 1.1% of the way through the writing. I’ll continue to get behind for a few more days until I’ve got a solid structure and know where things are going. Then I should start writing and pick up steam.
For now, off to watch Smallville…