My Books & Stories (Amazon Page)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

NaNoWriMo Countdown

It's only 29 days until the begining of National Novel Writing Month. I've already started laying in some supplies (I've learned to love those little black & white semi-hardcover notebooks you can buy at Wal-Mart for $0.77 each - i've been using them as my daily logbooks for almost 10 months now) and I'm starting to rework the outlines for my stalled projects "Gated" and "Third Pulse". I'm pretty sure I'm going to be working on "Gated" again this year as that's one of my novel ideas that really, in my opinion, has the kind of legs to really grab a publisher and an audience.

I've started using this nifty little iPad ap called iCard Sort that allows you to set up, arrange, and edit stacks of index cards. You can group the cards by specific order, rearrange the order, shuffle them around, and there are a few more bells & whistles in the program that I haven't discovered yet.

The best part is that the ap is practically made for index card outlining and it's dirt simple to figure out and use. I'm basically following Alexandra Sokolof's method fir index card outlining since the method described by James D. MacDonald just hasn't worked out for me. I'm much more of an informal formulaic kind of writer (or is that infernal?) and Uncle Jim's method of numbering, etc., all those cards is just too formal a formula for me. My first outline for a book was a series of chapter numbers followed by a 2-3 sentence description of what was supposed to happen in that chapter. I still outline that way (though, when I was running RPGs I used to use a more complex map method for plotting adventures which still works for those who lie to draw maps - I do, and did, but the method might be a little too tedious for some).

Managed to get into a conversation the other day with Mark Ellis (no relation) on Absolute Write. It turns out he's quite the author himself under both his own name and the James Axler pen name. Based on what he said I purchased and downloaded the Outlanders series book "Oblivion Stone" and that's on my current "being read" list.

Now, off to craft a few more scenes fir Gated and maybe start work on tbe future scenes for Third Pulse.

Keep your fingers crossed.


Julio Barros said...

Thanks for the insight on using iCardSort. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions on making it easier and better. Thanks again.


fotsgreg said...

Thanks, Julio, for dropping by. iCard Sort has some great aspects built into it for writers, but if I run across anything I think it could use I'll drop you a line.

Julio Barros said...

Hi Greg,

I have a google alert for "iCardSort" and saw that your comment that you lost your outline.

Was it a problem or issue with iCardSort or something else? If it was iCardSort, let me apologize right up front and say I hope you can help me figure out what the issue could be.



fotsgreg said...

Julio, no it wasn't a problem with iCard Sort. I somehow accidentally "bricked" my previous iPad and I can't connect and/or synch my new iPad with my computer right now where my backup is so my previous work is sitting there all alone and forlorn. I don't know if I can email myself the file to recover the lost deck or not (frankly, I don't know where it's at on my computer to attach it to an email).

fotsgreg said...

Incidentally, for any of you writers out there, I created a new deck "template" for iCard Sort based on Alexandra Sokolof's index card outline pattern for iCard Sort so I wouldn't have to recreate the deign every time I start a new project.