Friday, 4 January 2008

Novel #2 begins!

Well, it's only a piddling 187 words but it's my 187 piddling words.

I fired up YWriter about an hour ago and started entering character profiles for my main characters (seven at the current count). That in itself was useful as I hadn't totally thought through all the characters and being asked what each character's goal was (and what was at stake in order for them to achieve their goal) forced me to answer a few questions I hadn't previously been able to answer.

Openings are important (I can't properly get going until I've nailed the opening*) and I spent quite a long time typing out a sentence, deleting it, typing a new sentence and deleting it until finally I had an opening I was happy with. The opening needs to set the right tone for the novel, set the scene and pull the reader in. Nothing too heavy, not too much exposition, just a quick, easy introduction to my main character.

It's late so instead of forcing myself to carry on I'm going to leave the novel mid-scene so I've got a nice easy scene to complete when I come back to the novel tomorrow.

I entered the word count and completion date into the software - 100,000 words by 30 June (as I cut 10,000 words from novel #1 during editing I figured I should aim high to allow for choppage) - and apparently I have to write 561 words a day between now and then to achieve that. I like the sound of that. It means I've got a bit of lee-way. If I write 1,000 words in one day I could, in theory, take the next day off. That's the kind of schedule I like the sound of!

* of course the opening will probably change in the re-write but it has to be right for 'right now'

7 comments:

Sarah*G* said...

Not heard of YWriter. (Nothing strange there. I never hear of anything besides scooby doo and dora the explorer!) Is it good/useful/easy to use? Would you recommend it?

KAREN CLARKE said...

I'm curious too!
Know what you mean about the opening - I've re-written my opening sentence quite a few times, but am finally happy with it :)

K.Imaginelli said...

yay for starting the new novel!!

off to check out ywriter....

CTaylor said...

Sarah/Karen - YWriter is free novel writing software. I used it to write my first novel and I'm using it again this time too. It's very, very easy to use. You basically add chapters and scenes and include a quick description of what they're about (you can even select whether they are active or reactive so you can see at a glance if you've got the balance right. You can also rate them in terms of tension, humour etc) and then move them around if you need to.

I basically used it because, once you're at 50% into your novel writing it into a Word document can be a bit unwieldy because you're constantly scrolling back and forth if you need to check a chapter or a detail. With YWriter you can see all your chapters at a glance and the description you provide for each chapter and scene means you immediately know where to click if you're looking for something.

You can also export the YWriter files into Word (which is what I did when I'd finished writing the novel).

Oh yes, and the software also works out how many words you need to write a day to reach your target by the date you set.

I think it's a great bit of software and it's free too. Give it a go (there's a link to it in my posting).

K - let me know how you get on with it. Hope you find it as useful as I do.

A. Writer said...

Well done for getting started!

I would like to point out that I'm using Ywriter for my edits. I wrote my entire novel in Word but now I'm at the stage of being very nit-picky (if that's a word!), I'm transfering it over onto Ywriter chapter by chapter, then spliting them up scene by scene, paragraph by paragraph... very useful! I feel I'm sitting in the middle of my book. :)

Sarah Dunnakey said...

Thanks for the YWriter tip Cally, it sounds like just what I need as I feel swamped sometimes by my word documents and can't see the novel for the file names.

Just downloaded it and about to give it a whirl, I will let you know how I get on.

Sarah*G* said...

Thanks Cally. I have downloaded it (for some reason I find that term funny. i am quite juvenille!) and I am adding my text and splitting it up scene by scene. At the moment it is all one chapter but with lots of scenes! I will figure it out!!