A little here, a little there

Cabin at Lang Pioneer Village in Ontario
My character lived in a cabin similar to this in 1825. In Novel 2, he’ll move from this area of Ontario to Buffalo, New York, on his way to Michigan.

A time of rest and learning

Not a lot of writing happening on the writing front in January. Yet, I’m grew and stretched in new ways, a lot like a kid who stops eating and physically growing as much just before he or she makes huge developmental leaps. I hope I’m about to take a huge leap in my writing skill.

In November, I learned about my process for writing, thanks to the pressure and deadline of National Novel Writing Month. In December, I learned how to finish a novel. In January, I’m learned how to rest and and how to think. I’ve spent many hours thinking about my novels, more my next one than my last one. I spent an evening writing down every idea I could come up with for my character. I’ve read a lot of books and listened to too many podcasts.

Novel 2 is going to be interesting, at least the process of writing will be for me. Novel 1 follows my character, a real-life ancestor from Ireland to the backwoods of Canada in 1825. Because his emigration was part of a government experiment, there is quite a lot of documentation of what happened, when and where. I had all sorts of walls for my story but was entirely free to make up the story within the boundaries. 

In Novel 2, William leaves his forest home of Ontario to work on the Erie Canal. I have a paragraph he wrote for the county historical society about where he went and what he did from 1826 to 1842. I have a couple dates, a couple places and a whole lot of conjecture.

In Novel 2, I have much more freedom for storytelling. I have a great idea of how to start the story. I have a general idea of how it ends. A few ideas have popped up to provide him with a love interest and a lot of trouble in between. He’ll be exposed to new people and ideas in a big city of 8,000 people. I’ll throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks.

I’ve learned a lot about how to plot, or plan, a novel, what structure works best with novels, and now I’m trying to put what I’ve learned into practice. 

In addition, I downloaded Scrivener, a writing software, and watched several of the tutorials. I downloaded Novel 1, which still needs a name, and discovered I it is almost 150,000 words. My restful January is almost to an end, and it is time to move back into a writing and editing phase of life.

I keep telling myself that I can do this. I know I can do this. I’ve done it before. 

Inhale. Exhale. Until next time.

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