May 7, 2014

The Wikipedia approach to writing

Dear M,

I am a huge fan of Wikipedia. Apart from the fact that it gives me a lot of info about things (I am not interested in going into the right-or-wrong discussion regarding Wikipedia), it also serves another purpose, in my eyes. The way Wikipedia presents topics, classifies them and highlights the important facts - to me that appears to be a good method to use when we are preparing to work on a novel.

It is always a good idea to identify chapters prior to writing. I know several writers who just write in a flow and break the chapters down afterwards, but some people prefer to prepare a chapter-wise summary for the entire novel before actually plunging into the writing.

And if you look at Wiki you get an idea. An intro, a summary, a cast of characters, list of casualties, (okay - maybe not) in short, a quick highlight of each chapter might be a good idea as a part of the homework.

Once we do that, we can weave scenes in, to each relevant chapter, we don't have to collate them into an incomprehensible mass.

Because, however much we think we know the story, trust me, writing a novel is a long journey, and somewhere, some times, we lose track of threads, some fine, important threads, and we need notes to bring us back into the game. The more organized, the better. As I tell myself every day, to no avail.


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