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02 March 2010

Writing down the bolts


Nuts and Bolts. Little things. Small shards of metal in an otherwise grander machine. And yet, without them, the car would fall apart, the building would collapse, the wharf would crumble. Two years ago I discovered a most amazing book. Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, PhD promised me a fool-proof system for writing a novel in 30 days. Sure, said I, the skeptic. But I bought it. It seemed the most legitimate book claiming such impossibilities. I already had an outline, already had characters in place. I was working on a sequel for crying out loud but I needed some structure, some oomph to get it out of the cracks in my mind and onto the page. And you know what? It worked. I wrote an entire novel (ahem...300+ pages) in the span of one month.

I'm doing it again.

This time, there is no outline, no plot in progress. In fact, there's barely a skeleton to hang clothes on. But I'm giving it a go. Today is day four (I'm skipping weekends because, let's face it, we all need some time off) and so far, I have ten scenes outlined, a one sentence summary AND a general outline for what she calls Acts I, II (part 1), II (part II) and III. I'm still not quite sure what's going to happen. I have ideas; they flit in and out from between my ears as I rattle out the bolts. Slowly but surely, however, I'm tightening and hammering and I'm seeing something that vaguely resembles a plot.

A daring undertaking? Perhaps. But I've done it before so I know it can be done. If you're in the mood for some no holds barred writing, or if you just need some help getting started, this book may be the key to unlock the stories hidden in your mind. It's helped me. And after this book, I intend to use it for the next, the next, the next...you get the picture!

Cheers!
Jen

17 comments:

maggie's garden said...

This sounds very exciting! I hope to see your book on the best seller list soon. I'm going to keep that vision for you...in the meanwhile...how about a sneak peek?
Wishing you stories that flow prolifically from your head Jen!
Cheers,
karen, and the English pooch maggie

Tamika: said...

I always assumed that a novel in a month was impossible too. Thanks for clearing up the hype.

Love your writing Jen~

roxy said...

Thanks for sharing this book, Jen. I think it sounds like something I should try.

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Karen! Thanks so much for the encouragement :) I may post a sneak peak as soon as I have something more than an outline :) Right now, I have characters twiddling their thumbs waiting on me to quit dragging my feet!

Tamika: This book is really neat at getting you from begining to end. You don't have a polished, ready to submit novel in 30 days, but you have the rough draft. That for me is the hardest part!

Roxy: pick up a copy! It's really a fun challenge and at the end you can say, "I wrote a book!"

Karen Walker said...

Best of luck, Jen. If anyone can do it, you sure can.
karen

Elana Johnson said...

Wow! That's amazing progress. I so need a book like this, I think. I've been lazing around and doing next to nothing. Le sigh.

Maybe I'll use you as my inspiration to get something done! Or maybe I'll buy that book...

rosedale's 4head said...

ohhhh the writing process...i do like your approach and attitude. i like maggie's post...I, too, am wishing all the best creative juices! keep us posted cuz this is a mere tease...exciting!!

Brian Miller said...

very cool...may have to snatch that book up to glean some ideas. good luck in the creative process...fun fun!

Glynis said...

Thanks for sharing your find Jen. yWriter has helped with organising my ms, and am always looking for new resources. I will treat myself, it might help with book two. I am sure it will help me tighten up book one as well.

Good luck with your new project.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow! It sounds like there may be a sudden spike in book sales thanks to your post! :-)

Mary Aalgaard said...

I might need to check it out.
Love your blog background, BTW.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm all for jump-starting the creative process in any way possible! Thanks for the tip...I'll check it out.

Good luck with your writing!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Lin said...

Go, Jen, Go! Wow, you are very inspiring. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Really? Wow, I have to check out that book!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Good for you! Good luck. Tell us how you did in 26 days.

Anastasia said...

Good luck! I can't wait to say I knew you when ;)

Kittie Howard said...

What an exciting project! You've got the talent and the skills to make this happen. Write, Girl, write!