the next novel manifesto

La porta della Carta nel Palazzo Ducale, John Wharlton Bunney, 1879

So I’m kinda taking a break and kinda not…anyway, the plan is come 2011 to re-write my 2008 November Novel, Taken (formerly titled Blanchefleur). Right now I’m doodling with story notes, thinking about things, thinking about how often I fall into the abyss…which leads me to this manifesto on writing Taken:

1. A new title as soon as one presents itself. My titles are either thematic or metaphorical, and the perfect title keeps me pegged to the story.

2. Only write scenes where something happens. Duh! But you’d be surprised at how many scenes I write where not a damn thing happens.

3. If I get stuck, move to the next thing until the ice floe breaks. I tend to obsess about story stuff that really can be handled later.

4. Write the action; add setting details later, and don’t worry about it.

5. Be patient.


3 thoughts on “the next novel manifesto

  1. With Shadow of the Lion I had tended to write spontaneous scenes and dialogues whenever they came to me, then pieced them together later. If you hold back waiting for things to happen chronologically, sometimes you’ll get blocked. And the spontaneous writing is often clean and doesn’t need a lot of editing.

  2. Sometimes you need to write the quiet scenes where nothing happens so you know where/what action needs to take place. I usually cut 30% from drafts – although there are drafts where I add a lot of tangents to get me where I need to go, and then I cut the un-necessary stuff.

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