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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

The Writing Life: More (and MORE) Notes for a New Novel

I have 157 printed page-notes for my next novel, “Max, the blind guy.” These represent seven months of thinking and jotting, scribbling and noting, playing with voice & character and place and mood and dialogue. I have a third of a novel here vis-a-vis ideas and/or scene development. But the bulk of the novel remains in my head.

Why 157? Okay, so it’s just a number and the bits & pieces on them are stepping stones from A to M to Z. Someday I’ll explain my “stepping-stone method” of novel construction, but not here and not without trying to cash in on it somehow. The method is good, proven-good, and just one way a  writer can keep the momentum going through the 2-3 years of work to complete a full-length novel.

Anyway, what I’ve found out in typing from my notebooks (I have three going) to make 157 is that (1) I know who my main characters are, (2) I know the beginning and middle and ending (first and last are written!), (3) I don’t know all the complicated narrative stitching that needs to be done, (4) and I need to figure out about a hundred other possibilities for scenes, characters, the drama, and the why of the story: Why are Max and Greta still together — still married — after 40 years and a dozen infidelities between them?

I may not fully know that until I begin to write the story poly-chronologically.

Stay tuned … that’s all I can ask of myself at this point.

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