22/8/2013 – Train ride in

I forgot my earbuds today.  That is, I forgot my “train earbuds” and it’s making me grouchy.  I have two pairs of earbuds, you see.  The first pair is the good pair, the Bose pair that cost a helluva lot of money, are really comfortable, and make a really good sound, but aren’t so great for when there’s a lot of noise about.  The second pair is the okay pair, the pair that I bought because of their noise-isolating capabilities.  I listen to a lot of podcasts on the way to and from work, and trains are noisy things (yes, Ms. Voice-Of-The-Tube, I know the next stop is Stamford Brook; it says so right there on the map, so will you please shut up about it!) so noise-isolation is a big deal.  I forgot the latter pair today, so I’m actually having to listen to everything going on around me today, which is making it hard to concentrate.

Yesterday, I started going through the notes I’d previously made for book 2 (yes, I already have a title picked out; no, I’m not ready to reveal it just yet).  These “notes” consist of two main documents.  

The first is an internal dialogue, typed out so that the eyes can see it.  It’s as through two people, who don’t quite agree on the best way to develop a scene or a character, are having a discussion about how things should work in this world, and someone’s transcribed their conversation.  I don’t know anybody else who brainstorms in this way; I don’t think I could possibly be the only one though, could I?  I always find the whole process a bit odd, to be honest.  What’s happened is that my brain has output this thought process, and what I’ve done is make a visual medium out of it so that my eyes can process the information and force my brain to re-input the same data it just excreted.  There’s an analogy to make there, of course, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to write it down.

The second document is the outline, the “broad strokes” of the plot, jotted down and put into a single column of flowing text.  The actual amount of detail that goes into the outline varies depending on a number of factors (how much coffee I’ve had, how much elbow room I’ve found on the train, how clear I am about just what should be happening in this scene in the first place), but the point is to be able to see where things are going in the plot, what the characters are doing, and why they’re doing it.

It’s this outline I’ve been reading over since yesterday, and I have to say, I’m enjoying it.  I’m thinking to myself, “this is a story I’d really like to read,” and I think that has got to be a sign that it’s time to sit down and really start writing book 2.

So, I’m back in the outline now, hammering out the dents and rounding out the edges so I can feel good about starting in with the actual text.  One of the things I learned in writing “Knight of the Flame” is that the more planning I do ahead of time, the less re-writing I’ll have to do later.

It’s a good feeling, like there’s forward writing momentum again.

Now, if only the District Line weren’t so noisy…

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