I missed last week. Stuff got in the way. And again, I won’t be discussing World Building. Two things happened in the development of this novel (still called Hidden Messages for now), that I want to talk about today.

The first is software. As I’ve mentioned I am plotting this novel in great detail before writing it. To that end, I wondered if there were resources out there that could help. There are by the way. It’s an entire industry. And I’m sure some of it is great and some of it is parasitic nonsense, but my research narrowed it down to two products that seemed useful and legit. There’s the Marshall Plan by Evan Marshall and The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. I opted for the latter. It was a toss-up and even if I discover I love The Snowflake Method I intend investing in The Marshall Plan at a later date, just to satisfy my curiosity.

I spent $50 on the Snowflake software. It’s a straightforward process and even I, with my antediluvian knowledge of technology, was able to install and begin to use it in under a minute. The method is also very straightforward. Begin with a sentence that describes your novel, then a paragraph that hits the crisis points. Then describe the characters in ever increasing detail. Progressing to ever more detail about what happens.

Early days, but I’m enjoying it. I’m being forced to really think in a detailed and structured manner about the story. About how it will develop, what the characters want, what motivates them and how to turn all this into a coherent novel. Of course, this may all turn out to be an elaborate ploy to justify my procrastination. You and I both shall know the truth of this in the next few months. More anon.

The other interesting, if only tangentially connected, novel related thing to happen was therapy. We were discussing writing. More specifically the difference between blogging and noveling. I largely blog to explore my own thoughts on a topic. There are times when I sit down to blog on a particular topic and discover that my opinion doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It’s one of the things I love most about blogging.

Noveling however is my desire to tells stories that reflect those values I regard as fundamental to me. My settled values as it were. What makes noveling such an interesting challenge, other than the technical demands, is making sure those values are buried so deep they don’t get in the way of the story. I may never achieve that but I am enjoying trying.

Next week I just might get to World Building.

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