July 27, 2021 - Slow Progress

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

 I started today by opening Plottr to continue planning the scenes in The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle, but quickly found that in order to do this correctly, I had to create more characters, locations, and now attributes to have it make sense. Attributes are pretty much anything you want to define them as. At the moment, I have one for the day of the week, date, and time for each scene. I haven’t decided whether to make point of view an attribute, a category, or a tag. These functions are more limited in Plottr than in Scrivener, where I’ve got most of this information—except for characters first introduced in this novel. So I had to set those up.


Then I decided I needed more suspects than I have, which at this point are Titus Strong’s client and one of Ranson Payne’s henchmen along with the actual killer. This requires backtracking to the victim and reasons someone would want to kill him.


That’s when I discovered I didn’t know a whole lot about him yet. I was going to sit at the dining room table and try to flesh him out, but I never did get to that.


I had watched a video while eating breakfast this morning about being a healthy writer. (There was more than that, but the healthy part was what I focused on.) One of the things that Roland Denzel said was it’s very unhealthy to sit for hours on end. (I think I knew that.) He elaborated that even getting up and walking around for five minutes every half hour would do such magical things as lower cholesterol. Now, I already use the Pomodoro method, or what are sometimes called writing sprints, which consists of setting a timer for (in my case) 30 minutes with a 10 minute break. But I usually don’t get up during those 10 minutes. Instead I check my sales, my email, and what’s happening on Facebook.


So today before I started writing, I made a checklist of tasks that I could do on my 10 minute break. I thought I’d broken it down into small enough bites to accomplish in that time, but the first two took significantly longer than 10 minutes. So, by the time I had those character sheets printed out, it was nearly time for lunch, as my cats so conveniently reminded me.


Later, I went back to reading Million Dollar Outlines by David Farland. The part I read today suggested that the best way to learn how to write well was to read the successful books in your genre. The way he said it was the bestselling books of all time in your genre, which is usually very different from what’s on the bestseller list today. So I went down the rabbit hole of finding a couple of those lists, copying them, and checking availability at the library and on Amazon.


I’m supposed to have this outline done by the end of the week, so I’d better be inspired tomorrow with new characters, scenes, and plot twists. Otherwise :::sigh:::, I’ll be behind again.

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