Fiction Writing

The Dungeon Master’s guide to (re)writing a novel

I’ve merged my blogs, and in that process reread my thoughts around a rewrite of my first novel manuscript, Fratricide. I still think this is a good idea, and this time around will not be inhibited by a month-long snowstorm. That said, I’m going to think about this a bit differently, both in terms of how I’m going to structure my writing but also in terms of how I’m going to plan.

The writing structure will be weekly, instead of daily. My daily word count goals in previous projects were such that I could dramatically over-deliver 1 or 2 days a week, and then underdeliver or fail to write 2-3 or more of the others. Weekly may not be the best method for developing good habits, but it’s going to be less discouraging as I inevitably have a few misses. If I ever return to the luxury of writing full-time, daily goals will once again be better.

How I’m going to plan…I’m taking some of my own considerations and criticism to heart, and am going to try to plan this story like I’d plan a game. I’m going to literally write character sheets for the five most significant characters, and then complete a thematic worksheet prior to starting any writing. Even if I want the process to be somewhat open-ended, I want to have both an inciting action and core conflict that I can write toward, so I don’t wander off into the weeds. It’s not unlikely that I’ll start writing before having my thematic outline completely filled out, but already knowing what the leading questions are can do nothing but help, in my mind.

So next week, my conservative goal is to have character sheets done for Scott and Lance. My stretch goal would be to have a first pass at the thematic worksheet done. Let’s see if I can hold myself to that, and then we’ll check in next Friday.


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