NaNoWriMo Day 4 – Studying structure

The bad news is I am now fluent in Fluish, having spent a good chunk of the day sleeping away the sickness.

When I did bother to wake up and shake off the cobwebs, I grabbed 10 books off the shelf and started making notes. A few favorites, a few classics, a few modern contemporaries, SF and F. I looked at point of view and how each was structured. The results were interesting.

Most of the novels were straightforward, chapters with one scene break, if any. A few were broken into larger sub-sections. One was sectioned by day. In other words, the structure was made to fit the story.

The number of chapters varied a bit, from 18 to 39 (ignoring the one outlier that had 104), with average lengths between 1,500 and 6,000 words.

Project: Black Mirror

New words written: 1391

Reason for stopping: Midnight

It was a good study, but what it really did was tell me that every story has it’s own beat and it’s up to the author to discover what that is. I did some clean up of what I’d done so far and I have a better idea of how I’m structuring this story going forward, at least through this first draft. There are plenty of other things I need to worry about fixing first (like finishing it).

I’ve made it through day four, which counts for something, an while I’m not exactly where I’d like to be, I’m not too far off. We’re just now upon the first weekend of the month so I’m planning to push hard and make some good progress. Not just to see word count, but to see how else the story will surprise me as it evolves.

Adam Israel
Author ꞏ Genealogist ꞏ Software Engineer

My interests include genealogy, cloud computing, and all things open source.

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