04-11-2022 - My first project 06-11-2022 - First week's review, feedback & W45 plan

How I will write

05-11-2022 - 1 year ago - 3m 38s
It's probably obvious, but I'll be writing on my computer, not by hand. I think it'd be a horror story on its own if I'd be sharing my handwriting. My preparations, sudden ideas,… will mostly be handwritten in a little Rocketbook, a reusable notebook. I like to have this close by while reading, so I can always take some quick notes.

Actual writing session

I made a format of steps to work through an actual writing session:

  1. Preplan: a quick plan for the session: where was I, where do I want to go and some ideas I want to implement. I will handwrite this at first but I will type this up for the post. I'll do this for about 10 minutes while having my morning coffee.

  2. Clean desk, turn off phone, close all other programs on computer, and prepare my timer. I'm making sure I cannot be distracted in any way.

  3. Write! I'll be using the Pomodoro technique to write without distractions for 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes. When the timer rings, I'll stop wherever I was, even mid-sentence. So when I have to start again in 5 minutes, I already have a sentence to finish to get the ball rolling.

  4. After 2-3 sessions like this, I'll review for myself how this session went. I'll note down what to review later; at this point I won't be doing any edits yet. I want to give it some time so I can do clear-headed revisions later.

  5. Copy everything into a post. I'm a sucker for numbers so I'll also be including stats like how long I wrote, how many words, avg words per hour… If you know a fun stat to keep track of, be sure to let me know!

I'll test this for some time and see if this needs some revising, but I think this should be possible in 1.5-2 hours. Of course, some sessions will be shorter, some longer.

Linear writing

For this first story, I'll be progressing linearly through the story. Mostly because of how I'm handling the outline (see below) but also not to confuse you. Jumping back and forth could get very confusing, but it's possible I'll write this way in a future project. The linear progression is only for the first drafts. Once I get to revising/seconds drafts, I will jump back and forth a lot.

Chapter versioning

In the upper right corner of a chapter you'll see a small menu which shows V1 - alpha, raw,… With this you'll be able to switch through versions I made for each chapter later on. So if I ever revise a chapter, there will be a new version like V2 or V3 with another tag: beta, revised,… but you'll always be able to see the previous versions. For each chapter, you'll be able to read what changes I made, feedback I got, how much time it took (per version and a chapter total),… I'll not make any edits in those except for some grammar mistakes.
This is hard to explain, but will become clear in the future once I get revising.

Architect vs Gardener

Also known as plotters/outline vs pantsers/discovery writers. In short, a plotter/architect/outline writer prepares a lot in front before actually writing. This can be short and still vague, but it serves as a guideline for the writer so they don't need to keep coming up with ideas during the writing.
In the opposite spectrum, you've got pantsers/gardeners/discovery writers. They sit down and 'just write' and see where the story grows to.
A great post explaining this further: Plotter vs Pantser.

So what am I? I don't really know yet. I've tried both before and while an outline gives me speed, discovery writing can be very exciting. But if I'm honest, I do most things in life with a lot of preparation, so I'll be plotting a lot. My favorite author, Brandon Sanderson, defines himself as being both. He outlines a lot too for large themes and foreshadowing, but he keeps the outline as a living thing, still malleable. That sounds like a perfect fit for me.

For Kane's Cases, I outlined The Farmhouse as a kind of playground. I have a well defined start and ending, but in between I only put in blocks: locations with specific scares/scenarios that could happen. I'm equipping the POV with a predefined toolset and he has to cross through the playground with what he has or finds. That's the outline of the story. Moving from start to finish will be a discovery process. I prepared a lot of traps, but I try actively not to think about how he could handle them so I can see what I can come up with at the moment.
As promised, the outline is linked to this post but a big heads-up: if you'd like to go in blind, don't read this. I describe the entire plot for the Farmhouse but also what I'm planning beyond that.
Tread carefully, like Derrek will have to.

Tomorrow I'll be posting my plan for the week along with some feedback I got and how I will handle this going forward. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow!

PS: Do you have any thriller/horror movie recommendations involving a farm? Please let me know through the feedback form or any other communication channel. I'm still working through some movies, but I will gladly pop in new recommendations!

See next post: First week's review, feedback & W45 plan

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Kane's Cases: The Farmhouse


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