There’s a Lot of Strands in the Duderino’s Head: Lot of Ins, Lot of Outs

Or, Novels are so much harder to write than short stories and novellas!

What the subtitle said.  And the quote title. I have been a bit surprised to realize that right now I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the different angles to the story I have to keep in mind. There’s just…a lot going on. A lot of ins, a lot of outs…a lot of strands in my head here.

With novellas and short stories, it’s pretty easy to keep the entire story and any threads you want to pull through it thematically or as foreshadowing in mind at once. With a novel I think it’s just too much (at least for me) to hold in mind at once. I can’t even look at it section by section because the story I’m working on is not as much about rising and falling action as it is about the end being the ultimate sum of the events that let up to it. It’s not that things aren’t happening, but that all of it is so entwined with what has gone before or comes after that I can’t parse out a piece of the narrative to hold in mind like a short piece-within-the-piece to break up the story that way.

No, with this one I feel like I need to have the whole story in mind. And I can’t hold it in my mind without some help.

I think this is why novel writing gets compared to tapestry weaving? Because all those threads have to be there from the beginning, even if they are hidden for most of the final picture.

The upshot is, I am considering some organizational tools. Specifically thinking of giving Scrivener a 30-day trial since they offer one for free, and I think that might be a program that would be helpful for laying out everything so I can see it in a glance. Perhaps it would help me to think laterally as well.  Also thinking I might need to outline in a bit more detail than I have right now. I thought I already had an outline, but…it’s not at a level of outlining each scene, rather than just listing the scenes and assuming my sketches will be enough to get them started.

In the meantime, my head hurts, and I feel like bowling….



Filed under Writing

2 responses to “There’s a Lot of Strands in the Duderino’s Head: Lot of Ins, Lot of Outs

  1. Scrivener is a great tool – I keep reading instructions and watching tutorials finding it more useful all the time.

    Deconstucted a novel with it last night. I’m going to cut out what’s useful and layer in a whole new plot-line. Wasn’t going to tackle THAT chore in Word.

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