According to an article I read this morning on Venezuela’s economy, you can now buy 3,500,000 liters (that’s 924,602 gallons) of 91-octane gasoline there for one US dollar (about 80,400 bolivars). Almost makes it worthwhile to consider buying a tanker truck and getting all the necessary permits, doesn’t it?
But buy your eggs at home in the local grocery or from a farmer. In Venezuela today, a single egg costs 200,000 bolivars (about $2.49).
This is not a rant on socialism. In my mind, the Prime Directive applies on Earth as it does in space fantasy. Citizens create their own destiny, putting up with whatever they can abide; when they can no longer abide it, they fix it. No longer any of my business.
Rather, this is a practical reminder. I converted the liters above to gallons using http://www.worldwidemetric.com/measurements.html. I converted the bolivars to dollars using https://themoneyconverter.com/.
One stop shopping. Just sayin’.
Topic: One Alternative to Either Outlining a Novel to Death or Writing Off Into the Dark
This topic has been awhile in the making. About twelve years or so, actually.
Back in the day, when I was primarily a poet, essayist and conference speaker, I often asked writers about their process. How they went about structuring their books.
A few said they outlined. Some carried that to extremes, including not only every major plot point and twist, but every minor one too. Others used a kind of story board or 3×5 cards (or both). Others created a rudimentary outline, often supplied in part by their traditional publisher.
For example, the publisher’s outline would describe the number of chapters required and the approximate number of pages per chapter. (I remember one publisher required 40 chapters and 8 to 12 pages per chapter; no more than 12, no fewer than 8). The result was a 400 page manuscript that fit the publisher’s folio and price point for that genre.
Today, with the advent of independent publishing or a hybrid of traditional and indie, much of that nonsense is out the window for writers who choose to determine their own career.
As you all know, I’m a proponent of writing off into the dark. But several years ago, I met a writer who outlines. Sort of.
This writer wrote psychological suspense novels (horror without the slash and gash) for one imprint of a major publisher who has since folded. But the idea has always intrigued me.
She comes up with an idea for a 40-chapter novel, then prints the numbers 1 – 40 down the left side of a few sheets of yellow legal pad paper.
Then, if she has character names in mind (and they’re subject to change) she adds a character name next to the number. Those chapters with “John” next to the numbers will be in the POV of that character. Those with “Josie” next to them will be in Josie’s POV.
Then she jots a sentence or two that summarizes what she expects will happen in that chapter.
That’s it. Nothing else.
Interestingly, after she begins to write, she returns to the “outline” and uses it as a reverse outline, noting character names, major events, clothing, etc. in case she has to refer back to them later in the book.
I find this intriguing because I use a reverse outline for every novel I write. And as I move into writing thrillers (of necessity, thrillers are longer novels that are larger and much more complex in scope than I’m used to writing), I’m thinking of trying her method as well.
Not as an outline to be strictly followed, but as a series of guideposts to help me avoid confusion and getting sidetracked. The one thing I won’t put on any kind of outline is the ending. If I know the ending, I won’t write the book. Too boring. (Isn’t that right, Dan?)
Anyway, I thought this might be helpful for you as well, either as a step down from full-blown outlining or as a step up to a more ordered universe.
By the way, I’m still asking: What method, if any, do you use?
To the Hovel late this morning, then back and forth with laundry and other tasks.
Instead of “just writing” I also spent some time changing one aspect of the novel that wasn’t fitting right and also updated my reverse outline, which I had allowed to lag several chapters behind.
Also, it’s so humid out there (monsoons) that my little portable swamp cooler isn’t doing a lot of good. As a result, the Hovel is sort of like a sauna. Like if you stand in the path of a tornado, things might get “sort of” windy.
So I knocked off a little early. Still had a pretty good day.
Oh, also the WIP is now Nick Spalding 2, not 3. I might or might not write one to fill the time gap between the novella (Jobs Like That) and this one. We’ll see.
See “Free Fiction Monday: At the Crossroads” at https://kriswrites.com/2018/08/06/free-fiction-monday-at-the-crossroads/. I found myself wondering whether this was influenced by Hemingway and a few other similar stories. Though of course, this one is PC all the way.
Talk with you again soon.
Fiction Words: 2194
Nonfiction Words: 750 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 2944
Writing of Nick Spalding 2 (novel, tentative title)
Day 1…… 2000 words. Total words to date…… 2000
Day 2…… 1000 words. Total words to date…… 1000
Day 3…… 3597 words. Total words to date…… 6597
Day 4…… 4538 words. Total words to date…… 11135
Day 5…… 3016 words. Total words to date…… 14151
Day 6…… 2534 words. Total words to date…… 16685
Day 7…… 3859 words. Total words to date…… 20544
Day 8…… 3913 words. Total words to date…… 24457
Day 9…… 2194 words. Total words to date…… 26651
Total fiction words for the month……… 13322
Total fiction words for the year………… 261619
Total nonfiction words for the month… 2660
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 100946
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 362315
Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 5
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 31
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 6
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………………… 193