Olague: In the Beginning There Was . . .

The long horror book that is Olague has begun. I first started having the inklings and little ideas two years ago, a few months before my son was born while doing my daily jog. The ideas grew bigger and became brainstorming sessions and that’s when I knew it was going to be a book.

Two years down the road, with lots more brainstorming, research, and writing down ideas, on Monday I started writing the prologue; 2350 words later on Tuesday I finished the prologue. I’d forgotten that when you’re writing something long, like a book or novella, as opposed to a short story, characters assert themselves a lot more strongly and pretty much take over. I’d had an idea in my mind for the voice of the character and the feel I wanted the prologue to start with, and as I started putting the words on the screen, Patricia, my character, started being herself and telling the story how she wanted to tell it. It’s a weird feeling and the important thing is to realize what is happening and not just scrap what’s coming out because you’re not happy with it. It’s your character coming to life and no matter how much you might want to control what they say and think, they’re going to do it their way or not all.

This is my first novel using Scrivener for plotting and writing a novel and so far it’s been an absolute delight. It’s like having an entire filing cabinet in one easy program on your computer. I can easily access various pages of notes all organized by what they are referencing, whether it be a chapter, a part of the book, or the overall manuscript. All the research notes are there. I’ve had to invent a town and create a map for said town (surprisingly named Olague) and I can have photos in there under locations for easy access and zooming available if necessary. It keeps word counts and allows you to view multiple screens at the same time, so I can be looking at research or a character sheet while working on a chapter. There are really no limits to what you can do with Scrivener it seems.

I also like to keep “word meters” when working on a novel, and I’ve added one to the right hand column on Bookbanter. I got the counter from Sarra’s Word Meter, and it looks like this:

250K is my estimated word count for the book, obviously, and I have this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that it may surpass that. Depends on how the novel goes.

For now, the prologue is in the books (so to speak), next is an interlude chapter, and then Chapter One!

Wyrd Progress Update I

I know, I know. It’s never going to get old: when you see Wyrd, you automatically think “weird,” even though it’s Old English for fate and the name of my novel. It’s okay, I do it every time too. And “Wyrd Update” is even better, I know.

Managed to get the prologue done today. 1225 words, just over 5 pages. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it was an accomplishment for me, as the prologue involved setting the story and involved constant reference to notes and research, which is why it was heavy going. Plus I’m pretty sure I’m going to eventually edit it down to three pages or less, even though I liked everything I kind of said, I just know it’s going to need to be a lot shorter and tighter, and it’ll get there, eventually, after a number of edits.

And tomorrow, I’ll begin with Chapter One. As I did with the second rewrite of Nothing is an Accident, I’ve made up a spreadsheet with dates and numbers of words written and number of pages written. This serves a number of purposes: 1) it boosts my ego a little to see that I’ve actually put something on the page, or more like a lot of somethings strung together to form sentences and paragraphs; 2) it helps me keep track of how I’m doing and for these updates and just in general; 3) I keep track of how much I’m writing each day and each week. I’ve laid it out through the end of February and at the moment I’m sticking to my own made up goal that I borrowed from James Rollins. On my days off I need to do 4-6 pages; on the days I’m working at least 2 pages.

We’ll see how that goes and how much I stay on goal. But I’m going to be tough on myself to get the writing and the work done. And try not to give myself too many excuses when I get little or no writing done.

WORDS: 1255

PAGES: 5