Monday, December 10, 2007

Cookies in Bed

I'm committing a major no-no tonight, but it can't be helped. I sitting in bed with my laptop, trying to get a little work done. For me, this could be a problem. I have enough trouble each night turning off my brain when it's time to sleep -- no matter how tired I am. I've learned:
1. NEVER write in bed.
2. Never edit in bed
3. Never use the same place for my day job writing and fiction writing (the day job bleeds into my fiction time and slows me down)

Right now, my office (aka spare bedroom) is used for when I need to work from home for my day job. A comfy spot on the sofa with the laptop on my lap is where I have done a lot of my fiction writing during the past year. It's the easiest way I have found to keep the two worlds separate. It doesn't always work, but it's working well enough that I don't feel my sanity being threatened.

I am happy to announce that I have finished my plot outline for Book 2 in the Dark Days series. I've never seen anyone else's outline, and I'm sure everyone's is slightly different. Mine tends to be an odd shorthand that would be utter nonsense to any poor soul who happened to stumble upon it. It's just two-three words per line of the main points of a scene. It is 85% main plot with only some light notes on the subplot. I just need enough to jog my memory at times and to keep me from straying too far off the path.

I don't like outlining my subplots too heavily ahead of time. I like to give my characters enough free rein to run where they want. By keeping the doors open, I've found that my characters, no matter how well I think I know them, still surprise me. I keep notes on their history, experiences, motivations, desires, so I can be sure that twists in the plot stay true to their character, but where they are going... that's up to them to decide.

To everyone who sent me an agent question: THANKS! I have collected them and will be sending them off tomorrow. If anyone else has a question, I will take them for a couple more days. I will probably be posting Jennifer's answers over a series of days.

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