Progress Update, Touchdown Prewriting

This week was a slow writing week.  First, the weather was very gray and depressing, and I had trouble keeping up my motivation to write.  A lot of my writing time was supposed to be “research,” which turned into staring off into space and thinking.  Second, I accidentally overwrote a file from the backup (instead of updating the backup to reflect the new file), which resulted in me having a little tantrum and not writing at all on Thursday.

I continued to do background space/science/exoplanet research over the weekend.  Around Monday, I realized that I’ve probably done about as much background research as I can do without getting into specifics of what I’ll need to research I’ll need to do for my setting and plot.  I did a couple of plot bullets and then decided to start fleshing out my thumbnail character sheets, because when I’m writing my characters, I often discover plot points in their backgrounds.  What I’ll do later is take the character sheets and plot bullets and form those into a full, in-depth outline.

Character work is hard guys.  I want my characters to be real people, but I also want them to have specific traits that feed into the direction I see the plot going.  I like to discovery write my characters to a certain extent, but I also want to have them sort of figured out before I start writing so that I don’t have to go back and make a bunch of consistency changes later.  I’ve previously gone from completely discovery writing my characters (Plague novel) to having at least a basic little sheet worked up (Flight novel).  The little basic sheets were really helpful.  But for the Touchdown novel, I’m trying to take this one step further by getting a lot of my character discovery done in prewriting.

This means I’m writing first-person narrative backgrounds, in the characters’ voices, for each of my main characters and the main antagonist.  This is proving to be very difficult, and it didn’t help that I overwrote a background that it took me two hours to write.  Fingers crossed that this pays off in the end.

Fortunately, blogging refocuses me when I get frustrated and I needed to do some substantive posts anyway.  I’ve added four blog posts to the queue, which means I’m good for Monday posts through mid-March.

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